Did you know there are around 8.6 million sports injuries every year? If you have recently suffered from a sports injury yourself you might feel like it is going to take forever to feel better. We have a few suggestions below to help your injury recovery process go a little faster.
Get a Diagnosis
In order to help you heal faster from a sports injury, you have to understand your injury. The best way to do this is to get a thorough examination done at a hospital or clinic. X-rays and cat scans will be able to confirm exactly what is hurt and will allow a doctor to give you an accurate diagnosis.
If you were injured around two weeks ago and are still not feeling less pain, then this is a sign that you want to go see a sports doctor. Minor sprains and tears usually improve a great deal after two weeks of resting.
The sooner you are treated the better your chances are to a faster recovery because you will be well aware of what happened. Seeking immediate treatment will also prevent the injury from getting worse.
Soft tissue injuries like muscle tears, pulls, or strains will recover after following the RICE method. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The sooner you follow this method, your chances of preventing further complications will increase and you will be on the road to healing faster.
Resting will keep you from creating any further damage to your injury and will also prevent you from getting a new injury. Take the time to apply ice to the injured area for 20 to 30 minutes around four to eight times per day. The ice will reduce swelling, bleeding, muscle spasms, and pain.
You will want to apply compression to the area that was injured in the first 48 hours after your injury to prevent swelling. Elevating the injured area will also reduce swelling.
If you have a lower limb injury keep the ankle above the hip. If you have an upper limb injury then use a sling or a pillow to elevate the injury area.
If your injury requires surgery or sports physical therapy, and pain killers you will want to look for rehabilitation that is supervised. Having guidance from a trained sports medicine professional will help you not only get back to playing sooner but also avoid negative side effects like dealing with Percocet addiction.
Once rehabilitation is over you will want to continue working with your team of physical therapists to help you with strengthening and endurance exercises that are specific to your sport.
As an athlete you know that hydration is key to helping the body. After an injury it is easy to forget or overlook keeping your body hydrated. Even though you are resting and not having as much physical activity after you are hurt, your body is still working hard.
It is working on building new tissue to repair or replace the areas that were injured. Water and staying hydrated will help your body when it comes to mending and healing it.
If you usually drink a lot of sports drinks, keep in mind that they usually have high amounts of sodium, which you want to stay away from. Too much salt in your diet can cause you to retain water and this will make it more difficult for your swelling to go down.
Since you are resting and not sweating as much you will end up retaining the salt that you ingest. This is why drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated during recovery.
Sleep is important when it comes to healing. Not just resting is a must but actual sleep will help you heal faster. While you are sleeping you are releasing oxygen that helps break up the lactic acid in your muscles. You are also producing HGH which helps you build new tissue at a much higher rate.
If you want to heal faster get more sleep than you usually do and let your body do its magic.
Eating right will help your body heal faster after an injury. You will want to incorporate citrus fruits and dark leafy greens that are rich in Vitamin C to help your body produce collagen, which helps your body rebuild tissue. These foods also have anti-inflammatory properties that will help your body heal faster.
Have plenty of foods that are rich in protein because this will help enhance the muscle-building process in the body. To help reduce and limit inflammation take Omega-3 supplements. If you have a bone injury or a fracture take calcium-rich foods and get some Vitamin D from the sunlight.
While resting is good and you have to do it to give your body the time it needs to heal, you want to also do a moderate amount of light cardio. Swimming is a great way to get a bit of cardio without overdoing it.
The goal is to get your blood pumping for just a bit to boost your immune system.
Feeling Like an Injury Recovery Pro?
Now that you know more about injury recovery and how to get back on your feet faster, you will want to take action to prevent future injuries. Unfortunately, you know that playing a sport comes with the risk of injuries so if you do get hurt make sure to allow your body to heal 100% before playing again.
Listen to your body before you jump back into playing.
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