Sports Injury Rehabilitation – From Personal Experience
Sports injuries can happen at any age. You can injure yourself at any time. Although injuries do not have to be sports-related in order to be treated in this way. Injuries can happen whilst carrying out a sport or exercise i.e. a fall, a twist, a sprain, a strain or a tear, or afterwards due to overuse.
The initial phase of an injury is when damaged cells in your body release a chemical that triggers an inflammatory response and we see this in the form of swelling and feel it in the form of heat. The swelling is sent to protect the injured area, however the swelling can also slow down the healing process. So we aim, when injured, to bring the swelling down as quickly as possible to speed up recovery.
If you injure yourself there is a simple set of instructions to help immediately after an injury – RICE. Rice stands for:
Resting the area is the first step to take. You should avoid using it immediately after the injury occurs to prevent further damage.
Ice helps you to control the swelling. As previously said, although swelling is part of the healing process, too much inflammation can delay the healing process and hinder your return to physical fitness.
Compression again helps you to control the swelling, thereby accelerating the healing process.
Elevating the limb will also help reduce the swelling and inflammation of an injury.
RICE should be carried out a few times a day until the inflammation has completely gone. In addition to using the RICE technique, you should consider treating the injury with anti-inflammatories and painkillers.
If suitable for you (a pharmacist can help you with this decision), I would recommend treatment with Ibuprofen gel instead of tablets. Use of an Ibuprofen gel on the injury is sometimes more effective because you are placing it directly on the injured area and not waiting for it to be passed round your blood stream first. By using the gel, you’re encouraged to massage the affected area, which will help to move the fluid from the injured area and reduce swelling.
Once the swelling has stabilised and the RICE treatment is in place regularly, you need to begin to mobilise the injured area as soon as possible. You need to get it moving (gently) to stop the joints and muscles becoming stiff. You will need to build up slowly, which takes commitment. If you follow an exercise regime designed for your injury, you will soon find yourself returning to your pre-injury fitness levels. However this might need to be non weight bearing stretches to start with and from there the process can build up, often very slowly.
What do you mean by “Sports Injury”?
- Foot Arch
Often pain during exercise is caused by working too hard, too quickly or by incorrect biomechanics (doing something in the wrong way). If spotted, pain like this can be quickly stopped with redirection and correct coaching. It is often when we continue to exercise that we then cause an injury. EXERCISE SHOULD NOT HURT!!
Or of course injuries can be caused by trips, falls, uneven surfaces or faulty equipment.
If you experience pain when you exercise get a coach to watch you perform the exercise and they will probably be able to tell you how to do the same exercise in a different way to stop the pain.
Serious injuries often need a rehab programme consisting of exercise and RICE, I would recommend – One of our massage or sports rehab programmes.
Sports Massage is a really effective way of speeding up recovery.
Often when we exercise we find old war wounds (previous injuries that have not healed in the correct way). In these instances we find that when we exercise it brings on pain for no apparent reason. People generally stop exercising thinking that this type of exercise does not suit them. However with a good coaching it is normally possible to do some strengthening and stretching exercises to enable the individual to take up the exercise that they would like. Once again massage can really help to speed up this process.
KEY: If you experience pain STOP and seek help from an exercise professional or a doctor. And don’t give up!