There are various types of minor sports injuries such as shin splints or a twisted ankle. The initial step to recovery is to stop any activity. If the individual continues with activity, it lengthens the recovery period and worsen the injury.
Some minor sports injuries might necessitate medical care. Significant swelling, severe bleeding, evident joint deformity and pain are indications of a serious condition. Even injuries similar to a muscle sprain or strain might be a fracture. This is why further assessment by a doctor is needed.
RICE for minor sports injuries
When it comes to minor sports injuries, the doctor will recommend the RICE method. These work by reducing the pain and swelling after an injury. In addition, it also promotes faster healing of injuries.
- Rest – getting enough rest is a vital part of treatment. Nevertheless, engaging in some light exercises can hasten the healing. Exercise also keeps the muscles flexible and promote smooth movement of the joints.
- Ice application – cold is considered as an ideal pain reliever since it numbs the affected area and minimizes the swelling. Cold is effective if used right after an injury. Simply wrap an ice pack with a thin cloth or towel and place over the injured area for 20 minutes and then remove for 20 minutes. The cycle is repeated every 20 minutes for up to 3 hours. Remember not to leave the ice pack on for more than 20 minutes at a time.
- Compression – apply pressure on an injury to prevent swelling and provides support. The injured area should be wrapped using an elastic bandage.
- Elevation – keep the injured area in a raised position above the level of the heart to reduce the swelling
With the RICE method, there should be improvements within 24-36 hours. In case the injury does not settle, a doctor must be consulted.
When to consult a doctor
Head injuries can be serious than they initially appear. If an individual loses consciousness, even for a brief period, it indicates the need for medical attention. A doctor should also be consulted for any symptoms resulting from the injury that worsens instead of getting better.
Special care must be observed for cases involving possible internal injuries. Be careful if the spleen or kidney is involved. The kidneys are positioned at the back on either side of the spine while the spleen rests below the rib cage on the left side. If an individual was struck in any of these areas and feels persistent pain, lightheaded or there is blood in the urine, a doctor should be consulted right away.
Quick Note / Disclaimer
The material posted on this page on minor sports injuries is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage bone, muscle and joint injuries during sports, register for a first aid and CPR course with Vancouver First Aid.