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How Can I Treat Minor Sports Injuries

Posted on January 15, 2016 at 12:10 AM

Every sport has an element of risk to it that can lead to an injury.  When there is minimal swelling and bruising it is recommended to use the R.I.C.E principle.  Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.  The sooner this can be implemented, the sooner healing can start and in theroy--minimize the damage.

Rest     Resting an injury is important to prevent further injury.  Stop doing what you are doing and take it easy.  This may mean not walking if a lower extremity is causing a limp or to avoid activities that cause pain to an upper extremity.

Ice     Ice is recommended as it is an analgesic to reduce the pain.  It will also decrease the swelling.  Keep in mind that swelling causes pain, so by reducing the swelling we are reducing the pain twice with this one.  Heat has a tendency to bring in swelling, so for the first 78 hours after injury, do not heat the injury.

Compression      Providing some gentle compression will assist in decreasing the swelling and pain.  You can use an ace wrap or a compression sleeve.  Always remember to make sure it is even across the skin so that you don't get pockets of swelling.  Make sure that it is not too tight (a compression wrap should be pulled about 50% of its tension) so that you do not hinder good blood flow to the area.

Elevation     Raising an extremeity above the heart will slow down the swelling and keep it from throbbing.

Depending on the injury this is great to do immediately.  Always make sure that any injury is properly assessed by a professional to make sure nothing serious has occured and been overlooked.

For other great tips and to see how my anwsers stack up with other health care providers check out our answers here.

Categories: athletic training, performance, injury prevention

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