Sports are a fantastic and fun way to keep your body and mind sharp and active. Although physical activity is mostly beneficial, sports injuries can happen. Fortunately, with prompt, proper treatment, you can get back on your feet quickly. Orthopaedic Associates of Rochester in New York provides the following tips for speedy recovery from sports injuries.
4 Ways to Speed Up Sports Injury Recovery
1. Use the R.I.C.E. Method
If you have a soft tissue injury, such as a sprain or pulled or torn muscle, implement the RICE method. The acronym stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Refrain from strenuous activity to avoid aggravating the injury. Apply an ice pack to the affected area for about 20 to 30 minutes at a time, four to eight times a day. This will help reduce bruising, swelling, pain, and spasms. Apply some form of compression material, like athletic tape or a brace, to the area in the first 48 hours after injury to reduce swelling and pain. Finally, elevate the injured limb to reduce swelling. If you’ve hurt your leg or foot, keep the limb elevated above or parallel to your hip.
2. Seek Prompt Treatment
The quicker you seek medical treatment, the faster you will recover. Doctors can identify the difference between mild and severe injuries and establish an appropriate treatment plan accordingly. For non-emergencies, speak with your primary care provider. If you need immediate attention, go to an urgent care clinic or emergency room. Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy to aid your recovery and prevent future injuries.
3. Eat Healthily
Even though you’ll be less active during recovery, that doesn’t mean you should eat less. Your body needs nutrients to heal and maintain standard functions. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and promote circulation. To counteract inflammation, eat anti-inflammatory foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, nuts, avocados, flaxseed, and chia. Also, avoid highly-processed foods and those high in sugar or saturated fat. A balanced diet high in protein and healthy fats will help speed along the healing process.
4. Commit to Rehabilitation
Once a doctor has diagnosed your injury and recommended a rehabilitation program, it’s up to you to follow through with it. Commitment is particularly essential if you’ve been referred to a physical therapist, as rehabilitation programs are often long-term and challenging. In most cases, you’ll see the therapist once or twice a week, with homework assignments between appointments. The more dedicated you are to your therapy, the faster you’ll heal.
Monroe County residents turn to Orthopaedic Associates of Rochester for prompt, effective treatment of their sports injuries. The trusted medical experts offer comprehensive services, from foot surgery to physical therapy. Call (585) 723-3000 to speak with a friendly staff member or visit the website to schedule an appointment.