Sports injuries can limit you from doing your daily activities and prevent you from doing what you love. People with an active lifestyle want to make a quick recovery from a sports injury. This goes for professional or amateur athletes, weekend warriors, and those who exercise regularly. Sports injuries can also happen to anyone, even those who are just starting to become physically active.
Pain marks the onset of a sports injury. What you do in the earliest stages of a sports injury has an impact on your pain level and recovery rate.
Apply the RICE Method
The RICE method stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Early use of the RICE method helps avoid further injury, reduces swelling and inflammation, provides support to the injured joint, and minimizes pain.
- Rest stops further progression of the damage. Refraining from physical activity for at least two days is typically recommended just to observe, but depending on the injury, it could take longer. Do not use or put weight on the injured joint, as it can cause further injury.
- Ice helps reduce pain and swelling. Apply an ice pack to the area for 20 minutes each time every two hours for the first 24-48 hours of the injury.
- Compression helps limit swelling. You can use an elastic bandage for this. Wrap it around the injured body part, ensuring it is not too tight so as to not constrict blood flow. The point is to provide support for the ailing joint and reduce the stress placed on it.
- Elevation above heart level within the first 48-72 hours of the injury helps reduce blood flow to the area. This can also help minimize pain.
See a Sports Medicine Doctor
It is important for your injury to be evaluated by a doctor right away, even if your symptoms aren’t severe. The type of doctor you choose could make a big difference in your recovery. For sports injuries, the best doctor you can see is a sports medicine doctor.
Not every person with an injury will think to see a sports medicine doctor for treatment. However, this is very important if you want an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of sports injuries. A sports medicine doctor can help you recover as fast as possible and get back to your pre-injury state by making a quick diagnosis — letting you know exactly what type of sports injury you have — and prescribing a comprehensive treatment plan that includes physical therapy and a rehabilitation program, so you can recover effectively.
Sports Medicine Doctor in Catonsville, Columbia, Eldersburg, and Fulton, MD
A sports medicine doctor can help you prevent chronic injuries and be physically active for a long time. At Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland, our orthopedic doctors are fellowship-trained in sports medicine and can provide the highest quality, comprehensive sports injury treatment and rehabilitation in Central Maryland. To schedule an appointment, call us today at (410) 644-1880 or use our online request form. We look forward to helping you get moving again!