Sports and athletic competition are widely enjoyed by billions around the world. There are over 8.6 million sports-related injuries in the United States every year.

These injuries can range from a sprained ankle to a much more serious ligament tear.

You can mitigate pain and further damage by taking action after your initial injury.

Follow these key steps after you’ve been injured

1. R.I.C.E.

Whether you’re playing basketball, ice skating, cycling or playing a friendly game of tag, the human body is susceptible to injury.

If you collide or fall during an athletic and recreational activity, you may break a bone or be unable to support your own body weight. Injuries that cause acute pain or bleeding should be checked at an emergency room or urgent care immediately.

For less severe problems, you should use R.I.C.E. to begin the recovery process. R.I.C.E. stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

  • Rest – your muscles will be sore and need time to heal so avoid using them
  • Ice – the ice will help fight off inflammation and swelling
  • Compression – this also helps fight swelling and assists with immobilizing your affected area
  • Elevation – keep the injured area elevated above your heart to avoid fluid build-up

Doing this step right after an injury will prevent further complications or damage from occurring.

You should have noticeable healing after three days of R.I.C.E. Now, it’s time to add heat and over-the-counter pain pills to assist with recovery.

Warm compresses help increase circulation to deliver white blood cells that will speed up the healing process. The over-the-counter pain medication can help take off the edge of any soreness you have.

3. Nose Bleeds

Nose bleeds are usually the result of a blow to the head. To stop a possible infection, you should stop the activity immediately.

Pinch your nostrils, lean forward, and hold your nose pinched for 10 minutes. Bleeding that persists or concussive symptoms should be seen by a doctor immediately.

4. Light Stretching

Injuries don’t always require someone to stop immediately. If your leg or arm feels funny, take a break and try light stretching.

Running and jumping might not hurt, but certain motions don’t feel natural. Listen to your body. Light stretching and range-of-motion exercises can reveal if there’s a bigger problem.

Resume playing if you don’t notice any problems, but listen to your body if things don’t feel right. If you have winter-sports injuries, you should check out this article by Kings of Adventure to see what you can do to prevent further risk.

5. Listen to a Trainer

Athletic trainers on-site are gifts to the sports world. If you are taken out of a game or practice to be examined by an athletic trainer, it will serve you well to listen to them.

Their recommendations may include R.I.C.E., stretching, or nothing at all. Trainers will put you through tests to see the extent of your injury.

Remember, if they deliver bad news to you, it’s only to protect you.

Take Care of Your Body

Sports and competition are great for exercise and recreation. Knowing what to do after getting sports-related injuries could save you from making your problem worse.

Take care of your body so it can take care of you!

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