Sports Injuries and the Road to Recovery

The most athletic people across the globe and most die-hard fans have gathered together in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the 2016 summer Olympic games. Some of these athletes have trained their whole lives for this moment. With incredible stakes and competitive pressure at an all-time high, injuries are likely. Knowing how to prevent and recover from injuries is just as important for these athletes as it is for anyone who moves their body.

What everyone should know about injuries:

  • The most common injuries are pains and strains, knee injuries, swollen muscles, fractures, and dislocations.
  • Acute injuries occur suddenly while engaging in activity and include symptoms such as severe pain, swelling, extreme weakness, or a bone or joint that is visibly out of place.
  • Chronic injuries happen after you play a sport or exercise for a long time and include symptoms such as pain when engaging in activity, swelling, and a dull ache when at rest.

Recovery: Treatment of injuries often begins with the RICE method.

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

Other therapies include: mild electrical currents, cold packs, heat packs, sound waves, and massage.

Prevention

  • Increase flexibility. Stretch before and after you work out, this should be incorporated into your daily fitness plan.
  • Take time off. Take at least 1 day off per week and at least one month off per year from training for a specific sport to allow the body to recover.
  • Wear the right gear. Player should wear appropriate and properly fit protective equipment.
  • Do warm-up exercises before playing any sport.
  • Wear shoes that properly fit, are stable and absorb shock.
  • Run on flat surfaces

And of course, don’t forget to drink water, stay hydrated as well as play safe and follow the rules of the sport you are playing!