Many people prefer exercising in a competitive environment, perhaps training for a marathon or playing a sport such as football or track. While there are great advantages to engaging in competitive activities, there is a risk for the individual to incur some type of injury. These injuries could be caused by many things, like a direct impact from another player or from simple overuse. When an injury does occur, some athletes can be tempted to “shake it off” and try to continue their former activity level. However, this can put the athlete at risk for an even more serious injury that could sideline them for an entire season. When it comes to sports medicine, proper care of your injuries is part of the process.
If an athlete experiences an injury, such as a mild strain or sprain, the first line of treatment is the RICE method. RICE stands for:
This means taking a couple of days off from exercise and resting the injured area. Applying an ice pack for 15 minutes every hour will help to reduce swelling. A properly applied compression bandage will also help decrease swelling in the area. Elevating the injured area, ideally above the heart, will also help reduce internal bleeding and swelling.
Focused Physical Therapy
If an individual experiences repeated injuries in a specific area while training or engaging in their sport of choice, there could be an underlying issue that requires a professional pair of eyes to truly address the core problem. A physical therapist can provide expert evaluation of how a patient walks, sits, and stands, as well as their performance of basic physical movements in order to check for any muscle or structural imbalances. A therapist can then create a personalized program that focuses on stretching and strengthening key muscles that will help support the athlete during times of intense physical activity. The physical therapist may also recommend certain types of athletic shoes or other supportive gear designed to reduce any further chance of injury.
If you need professional assistance to further advance your level of physical fitness, please contact us. We’ll help you get the necessary sports medicine treatment you need to get back onto the field, court, or wherever it is you belong!