Sports injuries are very common, and when you have a teenager, they’re three times more likely to be injured than teens playing sports outside of school. Annually, 8 million teens are engaged in high school sports, and over a four-year period, these budding sports stars will have at least one serious injury.
Recovering from these sports injuries is possible, and recovery can be even faster when the right steps are taken.
How can you recover faster from sports injuries?
1. Stop Pushing and Follow the “RICE” Method
Players are often taught to push through the pain, and this will only lead to trouble. Following the “RICE” method is key, and this is best when you’re suffering from a soft tissue injury, such as a muscle pull or a sprain.
What is RICE?
Ice the injured area for 20 – 30 minutes, four to eight times daily. Reduce swelling by applying compression to the area and elevate the injured limb to further reduce swelling.
2. Seek Treatment for Serious Injuries or Nagging Injuries
A serious injury or an injury that continues to nag you should be seen by a doctor immediately. The faster you seek treatment, the better you’ll be able to understand the extent of the injury and how to properly handle it.
Urgent care clinics or emergency rooms can also be sought. Urgent care is recommended as a cheaper alternative for non-life-threatening injuries.
The faster you receive proper care, the better.
3. Seek Rehab ASAP
Injuries may require physical therapy, especially if you’re going to be sidelined for weeks or months. Seek out the help of a physical therapist as soon as you can, and this is done to be able to:
- Improve strength
- Maintain flexibility
- Maintain full range of motions
You may also be able to start therapy on the injured limb, and this can mean keeping the strength in a sprained arm, or it may mean maintaining muscle mass and strength. When your physical therapist gives you exercises to do at home, make sure that you follow the game plan and stick to your routine.
Therapy will be key in your recovery process.
4. Stay as Active as Possible
If you ever follow the recovery of sports athletes, you’ll find that professionals will do everything that they can to stay active as long as it won’t aggravate their injuries. A lot of hockey players that get a concussion will continue to ride stationary bikes and lift weights to maintain their game-ready level of fitness.
Keeping active will allow you to get back in the game faster.
But always make sure to consult with your doctor and trainers to ensure that you’re not aggravating the injury.
Once you feel like you’re ready to get back in the game, you’ll want to ease back into your sport. A lot of people make the mistake of jumping back into the game after one practice only to re-injure themselves shortly after.
Give it a few practices and ease back into your normal routine while making sure that the injury is fully healed and won’t hold you back.