We have all been on the other end of a devastating sports injury. Perhaps you watched your favorite professional athlete tear an ACL. Recent injuries to superstars like Kevin Durant or Alex Smith come to mind.
Many parents are dealing with sports-related injuries as well. Their child’s promising amateur career is put in jeopardy by a shoulder or knee injury.
Regardless of the situation, your thoughts immediately turn to recovery. Read on to learn how to heal faster from a sports injury. Explore five recovery tips that are certain to benefit athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
1. Immediate Treatment
This should go without saying, but the first step in the recovery process is seeking treatment. Many athletes make the mistake of trying to tough it out. However, this may serve to prolong your recovery.
There are clear signs that indicate you require professional treatment. These symptoms include swelling, bruising, or pain. If any of these are present, make an appointment immediately to get the correct diagnosis.
2. Cold Therapy
In the aftermath of a sports injury, medical professionals recommend using cold therapy. The intent is to reduce swelling and bleeding. In addition, cold therapy can alleviate pain and muscle spasms.
Traditionally, cold therapy can be achieved by placing an ice pack on the injury site. However, there are more modern and effective solutions. For example, some doctors may recommend buying or renting a cryo chamber to treat the injury.
You can speed up the recovery process by using elevation to reduce pressure on the injury. The good news is that this step occurs in the comfort of your home.
If you have an ankle or knee injury, this means elevating it above your hip. This can easily be accomplished by propping the injured ligament up on a pillow.
4. Physical Therapy
Once your injury is healed, you can begin physical therapy. This typically includes range of motion exercises. The objective is to strengthen the muscles back to a pre-injury condition.
It is important that you perform these exercises under the supervision of a professional. Doing them incorrectly may cause a follow-on injury and extend your recovery time.
5. Ease Back Into Sports
Many athletes are itching to return to the game that they love. This itch begins when the swelling and pain subsides. However, this does not mean that the injury is gone and the muscles are restored to full strength.
The truth is that a premature return may prolong your recovery. It is critical that you coordinate with your medical team before attempting a comeback.
How to Heal Faster and Return to Sports
Injuries are one of the most devastating milestones of an athlete’s career. There is no reason that the comeback cannot be better than the setback.
With a professional diagnosis and recovery plan, you can come back stronger than ever. Steps like cold therapy and elevating the injury go a long way to a strong recovery. If you enjoyed this article about how to heal faster, check out our blog for more great content.