When dedicating your life to the sport you love, there’s a certain risk you run when running the bases. Sports-related stressors (i.e., juggling academic responsibilities and routine practices), overuse injuries, and concussions are but a few of the risks of the average athlete’s [home] plate.
With the time commitment and physical demands set aside, there is nothing more deflating than an injury during a period of good play. It can be easy to get frustrated and angry as you feel your form and fitness levels begin to suffer the consequences of the recovery period. To add insult to injury, you’ll also have to watch your team play without you as you find a new home on the benches.
If you are currently injured, don’t despair yet. Thanks to modern medical advances and our more comprehensive understanding of the body, accelerating your recovery from a sports-related injury is possible. Keep reading to find out seven different ways you can get off the bench and back on the playing field.
RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation, a tried and true method for dealing with most soft tissue injuries like ankle sprains. This method will control inflammation and jump-start the healing process.
You should stop and rest as much as possible for the first 48-hours after sustaining an injury. Getting a good night’s sleep on an organic mattress from retailers like Essentia (https://myessentia.ca/) can go a long way towards healing.
Not only does sleep promote the growth of new tissues at the injury site via growth hormones, but this undisturbed rest serves as an injury prevention strategy. With more hours of high-quality sleep on an expert-approved mattress under your belt, you’ll notice an uptick in alertness and a decrease in judgment-inhibiting fatigue.
Ensure that your sleep quality remains intact–even despite the surges in pain–by investing in a mattress that encourages the healthy flow of blood cells and guarantees full-body support–both of which are essential for a speedy recovery.
A cold compress or ice will reduce the swelling around the injury. You should apply an ice pack for 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours for the first two days after being injured. If you don’t have an ice pack, a bag of frozen veggies will also work.
Compression will also prevent an injury from swelling. It would be best to wrap the injury in a stretchy medical bandage. The wrap should not be so tight as to interrupt blood flow.
Finally, the injury should be held above the heart if possible, which will reduce pain and swelling. The injury should be kept elevated as much as possible, especially while sleeping.
It may be tempting to push past the injury or keep using the injured body part, especially if it’s a sports-related injury. However, this is one of the worst things you can do. Persisting pain indicates that the injury has not healed. You should immobilize the injury and use it as little as possible. A brace or splint is a great way to limit movement.
Take some time to understand your injury. Think about where the injury is located on your body and any specific movements that cause pain. Additionally, think about how this injury will affect your life and identify ways to adjust to the injury. Understanding your injury will help you change your lift to your temporary physical limitations. These steps are essential to allowing your body to heal.
If you have rested for several days and the injury is not improving, it is wise to see a doctor or other medical professional and get a diagnosis. An untreated traumatic injury can have serious medical consequences if left untreated. Severe injuries are not the time to act tough and push through the pain.
Once the swelling has gone down, the next step in recovery is mild exercise or physical therapy. This step is crucial if the injury has prevented you from the normal range of motion. Any physical therapy program should be done under the supervision of a professional. Attempting exercise too soon could lead to additional injury.
For your body to completely recover, it has to have the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to repair the injured part of your body. During recovery, it is essential to eat a well-balanced diet. It would be best to eat a protein-rich diet and be getting lots of vitamin C, vitamin D, and calcium. It may be helpful to take dietary supplements while injured to help your body recover.
A slow-and-steady approach to healing may not be the most appealing way to accelerate your recovery, but it may be the most important. The worst thing that you can do is rush back from an injury. Coming back from an injury too quickly risks re-injury or injury to another part of the body.
Your body will attempt to compensate if you try to exercise or play with an injury, leading to further injuries or muscle imbalances that continually compound over time. The best thing you can do is wait for your body to recover before returning and playing/exercising altogether.
If you follow these seven methods, you will be on the road to recovery in no time. It is essential to take your sports-related injury seriously and take the proper steps to ensure recovery. It may be tempting to rush back to playing, but this can have severe consequences down the road. Play at the top of your game by giving your body the grace it deserves.