Whether you are an elite athlete or a weekend player, if you are into sports you have possibly faced an injury at some point in your life. Some injuries are acute and commonly caused by a sudden event whereas some are chronic i.e. acute injuries which does not heal up completely, leading to prolonged suffering.
The most common reasons for such injuries are:
Improper warm up before exercise
The most frequently seen injuries are concussion, sprains, strains, swollen muscles, knee injuries, fractures, dislocations etc. What should then, ideally, be done immediately after an injury?
Other than immediate pain one can experience swelling and bruising. RICE method, in such cases, is the most efficient answer.
Rest- The injured area may be sensitive to touch and move so the first and foremost thing to do is to take adequate rest. Cut short any movement to start the healing process.
Ice- Applying a bag of crushed ice on the injury will help relieve the pain and prevent swelling by decreasing blood flow to the area. Cover the area with a thin cloth or a towel to avoid any frost bite. Repeat this process for 15 to 20 minutes at a time and give a break so the skin returns to its normal temperature before icing.
Compress- An elastic bandage wrapped firmly around your injury can help minimize swelling by preventing the buildup of fluid. It can also help ease pain by keeping the injured area fairly immobilized. The bandage may not be enough to immobilize the injured area entirely, but it will provide some support and maintain constancy. If you feel any tingling or numbness, immediately remove and retie the bandage loosely. It shouldn’t be so tight that it causes discomfort or interferes with your blood flow. Even gentle compression can help keep fluid from collecting around the injury.
Elevating sore or the injured area on a pillow during ice application along with every time while sitting or maybe lying down can become a great technique to minimize swelling to a definite extent.
One can continue the above mentioned process popularly known as RICE during the first 48 to 72 hours after the injury. It may begin to heal within this tenure. However, it is always suggested to get in touch with the best orthopaedic doctor in Lucknow.
When to see a doctor?
If you suspect your injury is severe, make an appointment with your doctor. The following symptoms indicate your injury needs professional care:
Severe swelling and pain
Visible deformities, such as large lumps or limb bent at strange angles
Crunching sounds when you move the injured area
Inability to support any weight with the injured area
Instability in a joint
How can one prevent such injuries?
The best way to avoid such injuries is to warm up properly and stretch, as cold muscles are prone to overstretching and tears in comparison to warm muscles. The latter is more flexible and absorbs quick movements and bends. Wear the right shoes and make sure you have proper protection. Lastly, give yourself and your injury proper time to heal before getting back into action.
Dr. Sandeep Kapoor - a gold medalist Orthopedics Consultant and surgeon, from the best Orthopedics hospital in Lucknow, suggests not ignoring the symptoms. The earlier you get treated professionally, the sooner you will recover and get back into the game.