Enjoying physical activity is one of life’s pleasures. Not only does it feel good, but it's an essential part of staying healthy. There are many health benefits and much enjoyment connected to being active. Unfortunatly, when you're living an active lifestyle and improving your overall health, you're also opening the door for certain types of injuries that don't happen when you're just sitting on the couch all day, but that's a small price to pay for the countless benefits of physical activity. It is a rare athlete or competitor who hasn’t suffered bodily injury to some degree.
It is critical to know the steps you can take to expedite recovery and get back out there. Here are five important measures to take following an injury:
5. Stop What You're Doing.
When you've experienced the pain of an injury, the first and most important thing to do is stop. Soldiering through the pain will only exacerbate the damage and likely result in increased recovery time.
4. Assess The Injury.
In many sports related injuries the time tested concept of RICE is the next important step. That is: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The sooner you can do this, the better your healing result will be. Rest means finding a comfortable position allowing muscle relaxation. Icing will reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Always remember to maintain ice contact for less than 10 solid minutes. Placing a cloth or towel between the ice source and injury will prevent frostbite and further damage to the area. Compression may be required depending on the site and type of injury. This too, will help reduce swelling and support the area. Finally the elevation of an injured area will help control swelling as well as bleeding if any.
3. Seek Appropriate Treatment.
Some minor injuries will take care of themselves with the first two measures. Sometimes, more help is needed. For example, a physiotherapist may provide pain relief as well as advice on stretches and exercises to heal the area. Injury specific braces and supports are often required for support and speedier recovery. Massage therapists will be able to ensure good blood flow to maintain nutrients and help avoid scarring and immobilization. Sometimes a doctor may be required to provide stitches, perform surgery or prescribe medication. With all the help available, do seek treatment as soon as possible.
2. Follow instructions.
Do exactly what is prescribed for your specific injury. Whether it be supports, exercise, stretches, rest, medication, it's important to do what is advised for the duration of time recommended. Trying to shortcut the process often leads to reinjuring of the same area which can be more severe than the first. Ignoring
1. When it's time, gradually get back in the game.
Allowing injuries to stop us for fear of another injury should never be an option. Having said that, you don't want to hit the ground running after an injury, make sure you get back into things gradually .
Injuries are often a part of activity. Whether serious or minor, we can act to help ourselves to get over them. If we remember to stop, assess, seek appropriate treatment, follow instructions given, and finally get back to the activity as our healing process allows, the time out will be minimal and recovery successful.