According to the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST), injuries account for more than 150,00 deaths, and there are over 3 million non-fatal injuries annually. If you have recently sustained a sports injury, you’re probably feeling impatient and eager to return to your sport or your normal daily activities. However, it is prudent to take the best steps towards healing following an injury to ensure you recover appropriately. Take a look at these points to learn more about recovering from a sports injury.
- Don’t ignore your mental health
Beyond Blue estimates that one in three people will suffer from significant depression three months after a traumatic injury. Indeed, any injuries sustained during sporting activities or on your fitness journey can wreak genuine havoc on your mental health. The various changes to how you live following an injury are often the primary source of frustration and mental health problems. Nevertheless, mental health experts recommend focusing on other things that make you happy outside exercise or sports. In addition, you can keep a journal to gather your thoughts and take your mind off your injury.
- Get an accurate diagnosis to understand your injuries
Minor sprains or tears usually improve significantly after two weeks of dedicated rest and a break from any sports. As such, no improvement after two weeks warrants a consultation with a qualified sports doctor. These professionals can conduct thorough clinical examinations and tests like X-rays or scans to diagnose your disease accurately. In addition, they can draft a rehabilitation strategy to ensure that you enjoy a quicker recovery with minor complications. If your injuries are severe, orthopedic or chiropractic care might be necessary to guarantee a thorough recovery, so keep this in mind.
- Use the RICE tactic
RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation and is critical to treating acute soft tissue injuries. The primary goal of early RICE therapy is to control the initial inflammation and start the healing process early. Therefore, rest after suffering a sports injury, especially in the first 48 hours after being hurt. This way, you can avoid putting weight on the injured area and prevent further bruising. Then, apply an ice pack frequently to reduce pain or swelling. Also, compress the injured area with an elastic medical bandage to stop any swelling. Finally, raise the injured area above your heart level to lower pain, swelling, and throbbing.
- Consume the right food and supplements
Nutrition plays a critical role in nourishing and assisting the body throughout injury recovery. Antioxidants assist the body in preventing muscle damage and may aid in injury recovery. However, you will need to eat well to get the right antioxidants to help you heal since the body does not produce every antioxidant necessary for injury recovery. Consequently, consume protein-rich foods like eggs, fish, and yogurts to help with any bone issues. In addition, eat plenty of citrus fruits and dark leafy greens rich in Vitamin C to assist with collagen production. Collagen rebuilds tissues and possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can work wonders for a body in recovery. Finally, you can also consume Omega-3 fatty acids from supplements to limit excessive inflammation and speed recovery.