What is the best way to treat a sports injury?
Treatment often begins with the RICE method. Here are some other things your doctor may do to treat your sports injury.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Your doctor may suggest that you take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen or aspirin. These drugs reduce pain and swelling. Another common drug suggested is acetaminophen. It will not reduce swelling but it may relieve pain.
Immobilization is a common treatment for sports injuries. It keeps the injured area from moving and prevents more damage. Slings, casts, splints, and leg immobilizers are used to immobilize sports injuries.
In some events surgery will be needed to repair sports injuries. Surgery can repair ligaments and torn tendons or put broken bones back in place. Most sports injuries will not need surgery.
Rehabilitation is a key part of treatment. It involves exercises that progressively gets the injured area back to normal. Healing begins when moving the injured area. The sooner you can move the area, the better. Exercises begin by carefully increasing the range of motion in the injured body part. The next step is stretching. After some time, strengthening exercises may be added to the injured area.
Scar tissue forms as injuries begin to heal. After a while, the scar tissue shrinks and brings the injured tissues back together. As this happens, the injured area becomes stiff or tight. It is at this point you are at the greatest risk of injuring that area again. It is advised to stretch your muscles everyday especially as a warm up before any exercises or sports activity.
Do not begin to play a sport or exercise until you can stretch the injured area without swelling, pain, or stiffness. Remember to start slowly when beginning to play a sport or exercise. Increase your endurance step by step.
You must also take time to rest after an injury. Proper rest helps injuries to heal. Your doctor can help you balance proper rehabilitation and rest.