The worst nightmare of any athlete is to be sidelined from competitive sports due to an injury. However, injuries are sometimes inevitable. It is therefore advisable to keep the injury minimal so that you can recover quickly if you ever get injured. This article discusses some helpful measures that you should implement in the immediate aftermath of an injury so that you can increase your chance of recovering quickly.
Protect an injury site from sustaining further injury or bleeding excessively. For example, stop exercising and lie down or sit to take the load off your injured ankle. This measure will reduce the likelihood that more tissues will be damaged by the weight or loads exerted upon the injured site.
Rest is vital within the first day after you have been injured. Avoid any form of activity, such as walking or exercising, which may worsen the injury or delay the commencement of the healing process. Use a crutch in case you must move about after sustaining a soft-tissue injury in your lower limbs.
You should also keep the temperature of the injured site low immediately after sustaining an injury. Applying ice is one of the most effective ways to do that. Tie the ice pack to the affected part of your body so that swelling is contained. Remember to remove the ice pack periodically (every 15-minutes, for example) so that the skin or nerves around the injured area are not adversely affected.
It is also advisable for you to use a compression device, such as a bandage when the ice pack has been removed from the injured part. Compression will help to minimise the likelihood of extensive swelling and inflammation. Make sure that what you use to compress the injury site exceeds the injured area by a few centimeters so that the impact of the injury is not allowed to spread over a wider area of your limb.
Constant elevation is also essential in ensuring that an injury heals quickly. This is because elevating the injured part will limit swelling by reducing blood flow to the area. For example, place your injured foot on a stool while you are lying down.
Contact a professional, such as a sports physiotherapist, as soon as possible within the first 24-hours after being injured. They will assess your injury and design a treatment plan which will ensure that you recovery quickly and resume your daily routine.