There are over 3.5 million sports injuries in the USA each year.

While you don’t have to be a professional physician to ensure safety on or off the field, a sports injury is a common occurrence that requires a quick response.

We are here to help. Read on to learn how to treat the most common sports injuries before they get worse.

Stop Immediately

The first sign you’ll notice is often sudden pain. The key to first treating sports injuries is to reduce further damage or injury. So, you’re going to want to stop immediately.

Resting is also key to letting the injury heal. Don’t try to push through the pain as this can make things worse. You could be delaying healing by days and even weeks.

Reduce Swelling

When sustaining an injury, you’re going to notice swelling around the injured area. This swelling causes pain and loss of motion which limits your use of the muscle. With most acute soft tissue injuries like bruises, strains and tears the best treatment is to prevent, stop and bring down swelling.

You want to immediately apply ice to the injury and keep it elevated above your heart. Compression will stop blood from pooling in the damaged tissue. Be sure not to wrap too tight though, you want it to have a snug fit.

Cuts and Abrasions

With cuts, the first treatment should be to stop the bleeding. You want to wash around the wound with soap and water first. Then, cover the wound with a snug, appropriate bandage and seek medical attention.

Deeper wounds could need stitches. Before you can get to a hospital though, you might be able to use a butterfly bandage to hold it shut. This will only work if you can pull the edges of the wound together.

Recovery

After keeping off the injured area and applying ice, most sprains and bruises will begin to heal. If, after 24 hours, your swelling and pain don’t decrease go see your doctor. Depending on the cause, you may want to talk about work injury rights.

When healing as begun, try gentle stretching and light massage. This can help reduce adhesions and scar tissue which will improve muscle function.

Over time, increase the use of your injured joint or muscle. Don’t force any movement or stretches that don’t feel right. You could end up re-injuring the area.

Chronic Injuries

While many of the more dramatic injuries come on with a sudden burst of pain, not all of them do. Some, like tendinitis, come on slowly as aches and pains. A small, niggling ache can grow into a debilitating injury if not dealt with.

When treating overuse injuries, you have to make sure to rest the injured area. You also need to reduce exercise frequency, intensity, and duration so you can get back to full health.

If your overuse injury is more serious, or you aren’t seeing any improvement you need to see a doctor.

Treating a Sports Injury

If you are into sports, then at some point you are likely to suffer a sports injury. But as long as you follow our advice you can keep them to a minimum and recover fully and as fast as possible.

If you found this advice useful, then check out our other articles on wellness.

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