Every year, more than 213 million men, women, and children of all ages take part in sports and fitness activities around the country. For many of these athletes and sport enthusiasts, injuries are simply a part of playing the game, with some forcing them to stop playing for a while. Sprains, strains, knee injuries, swollen muscles, broken bones, and dislocations all top the list of which injuries often puts athletes on the sidelines.
The goal for many of these injured athletes — professional or not — is to get back to active status as quickly as possible. If you’re an athlete that has been injured and wants to get back on the track, the field, or the court, here are five tips for healing safely and completely.
- Visit a Chiropractor: If you have suffered from a sports injury, there are many ways a chiropractor can be a partner in that journey back to the field, court, or track. Some of their methods — which do not include medication — include pain management, spinal alignment, joint manipulation, soft tissue therapy, massage therapy, and individualized exercises.
- Visit a Physical Therapist: Physical therapists regularly treat athletes with sports injuries. Their methods typically include a tailored plan of stretches, exercises, and techniques that aim to strengthen the muscles in and around their injured areas, and restore your range of motion while reducing recovery time.
- Take a Rest: When you have suffered from a sports injury, it’s essential to spend some time resting. Rest gives your body time to repair any damaged tissue and gives you time to replenish your energy stores. Rest also keeps you from irritating your injury further, thus prolonging your inactivity period.
- Manage the Pain: Pain relief for injured athletes is an important part of the recovery process. Some advice includes reducing inflammation — rest, ice, compression, elevation or RICE is one of the most popular methods that many injured athletes follow— massage therapy and ultrasound therapy. Your doctor or physical therapist will also provide you with advice on how best to manage your pain while recovering from an injury.
- Be Positive: When you are injured, it may put you down in the dumps — but this can impact your recovery time. That’s why it is important you maintain a positive attitude during your recovery phase. Try repeating a mantra every morning or setting realistic goals for yourself and your recovery.