Whether you’re a professional athlete, dedicated amateur player, or a weekend warrior, your favorite activity may be enjoyable, but could very well lead to sidelining injuries. If you experience an injury or have symptoms of an injury or condition, don’t hesitate to seek medical care from a sports medicine or orthopedic doctor.
Here’s what your orthopedic doctors in the Baltimore area recommend to heal injuries and improve overall performance.
Steps To Treating Sports Injuries
When a sports injury occurs, it is important to treat it correctly for the best results. Here are the steps you should take when you suspect a sports injury has occurred.
This first aid protocol involves resting, icing, compressing, and elevating the affected body part to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. It is important to do these steps immediately following an injury that involves soft tissues.
Rest. This is hard for dedicated athletes, but resting from rigorous activities reduces pain and swelling and helps you get back in the game quicker in the long run.
Ice. This is excellent for limiting swelling and discomfort. Apply ice wrapped in a cloth for 15 to 20 minutes every few hours.
Compression. Wrap an elastic bandage snugly (but not tightly) around the injured ankle, wrist, etc. Bandaging supports the injured body part, protects against further injury, and keeps swelling at a minimum.
Elevation. As you rest, keep your injured body part raised above heart level. This minimizes swelling.
Get Examined By Your Orthopedic Doctor
While at-home treatments are great to try, it is just as important to know when to seek medical care. When you suffer an injury and symptoms are severe or persist beyond a few days, get an in-office examination done, as well as a review of your symptoms and imaging tests (such as an X-ray or CT scan) for an accurate diagnosis. Your orthopedic specialist treats many kinds of sports injuries, including sprains, strains, fractures, tendon ruptures, ligament tears, and more. By doing a thorough review and exam, they will be able to accurately diagnose you, and then recommend an appropriate treatment plan.
Eat Well As You Recover
Nutrition plays a pivotal role in your health and recovery. Avoid fatty, high-calorie foods, and instead consume:
- Low-fat proteins
- Adequate hydration
- Calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin D
Ask your orthopedic doctor which supplements will speed up recovery and help you stay healthy when you return to your sport.
Tips To Train The Right Way
The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” rings true when it comes to sports injuries. Whatever your sport may be, don’t play it hard – play it smart. This way, you’ll avoid injuries and have longer runs, faster pitches, and better results. So, whether you’re beginning a new athletic activity or are a veteran player, train with an eye toward injury prevention. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
- Wear the right equipment, whether it’s shoulder pads, running shoes, or a bike helmet. Make sure it’s in good condition and fits your body properly. In the case of a collision, the right equipment will protect your body from serious injury.
- Build up your cardiovascular and muscular endurance gradually. Quickly jumping into strenuous activity without strengthening significant muscle groups and gaining flexibility will certainly lead to injury.
- Warm up and cool down before and after each workout or game, so that your body doesn’t experience shock and strain.
- Rest when you are tired or have pain and soreness. Rest is an important part of any exercise or sports regimen. Without proper rest, microinjuries cannot heal properly, and you will likely overstrain and hurt yourself.
Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland
In Orthopaedic Associates of Central Baltimore offices, our 17 board-certified, fellowship-trained physicians diagnose, treat, and prevent all kinds of sports-related injuries and conditions. We have three clinics fully dedicated to sports medicine and physical therapy.