Sprains and strains may happen even after a good warm-up. Knowing how to treat exercise injuries is important; you’ll get back to your routine faster and prevent the injury from recurring.
Don’t put off treating a sports injury. Fast action will speed recovery time.
For minor discomfort, try changing your technique or position; for example, bad the form could cause back pain in joggers or swimmers. Also, rotating your foot slightly in or out may relieve knee pain that develops while bicycling.
Runners may find that breathing deeply helps relieve painful cramps in the abdomen, especially in the beginning of a run.
Wait several hours, or even a day or two, before applying heat to an injured area. Heat may increase swelling and interfere with healing.
Recognize the signs of a fracture or dislocation (see “Fractures and Dislocations,” ).
Consult a physician if you suspect a fracture or dislocation or if there is numbness or tingling. Call also if an injury doesn’t respond to treatment within a day or two.
Consider pain a warning sign. While the pain may not seem serious, it could indicate a more serious injury.
Women, who have wider hips than men, suffer more problems with knees and ankles because of their leg-muscle alignment. Men tend to have more shoulder injuries because they participate more often in sports that require upper-body strength.
Test yourself for knee problems. Runner’s knee is the most common knee problem affecting women. To see if this is the cause of your knee pain, do the following: sit on the floor and stretch your legs out in front of you, relax them, and see if it hurts when you wiggle your kneecap with your hand.
Building the quadriceps (in the front of the leg) and the hamstrings (in the back of the leg) through weight training will help protect your knees from injury. For the treatment of other common injuries.
If you rub a pain-relieving balm into a sore muscle, don’t cover the area with a heating pad or bandage. Doing so could produce a serious burn .
R.I.C.E. for an Injury
The next time you get a sports injury, remember R.l.C.E. The term stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, and it’s the first thing you need to know when pain strikes.
Rest means taking a break from exercise or any movement that might stress the injured area. Minor injuries should be rested for a day or two, and more severe injuries need even longer. Returning to your exercise routine too soon will only cause the problem to worsen.
Ice the affected area. Ice reduces pain, limits the swelling and bleeding, and encourages quick healing. Wrap an ice pack (or even a bag of frozen peas) in a towel to avoid direct contact with the skin.
Compress the injury with a stretch bandage. Wrap it just tight enough to support the injured area comfortably.
Elevate the limb. Keep the injured part above the level of the heart, if possible, or at least higher than the hips. This will limit the swelling and also prevent movement of the injured area.
Be patient, and give your body time to heal. After the pain has gone, work out at a low level of exertion. This stimulates blood flow, thus warming the muscles and making you feel better.
Additional info: Self-Care for Common Sports Injuries