You’re an athlete who’s been benched for an injury — is there anything more frustrating? Particularly for those dedicated to the game, an ache or a pain can be the start of a nightmarish journey back to health. Luckily, there are a few tricks that can help to speed up the trek across the path to recovery. Keep reading to learn how to recover from sports injury faster.
When you sustain an injury on the field, court, etc., the very best thing to do is to care for it immediately; stop doing what you’re doing. Continued use of your ailing body part could result in worsened injury. Doctors recommend practicing R.I.C.E.:
- Rest — Limit activity requiring injured body part.
- Ice — Apply icy cold substance to the injured area.
- Compression — Put light pressure upon the body part, especially if bleeding.
- Elevation — Lift the injured body part so gravity removes fluids and tissue from the area to reduce swelling.
Interrupt the R.I.C.E. process if absolutely necessary, as consulting with a medical professional should be your top priority.
One advantage professional athletes have over us mere mortals: access to the best care available. It’s no wonder they’re back on the court in just days. They don’t mess around with home remedies; they see a physical therapist who, with experience and professional training, handles treatment knowledgably.
It’s likely a physical therapist has seen your particular injury before and has a good idea how to treat it. Just as important as healing your ailment is a physical therapist’s ability to help you avoid worsening the issue at hand, which can occur when you’re utilizing the wrong exercises or treatment methods.
Perhaps not the most effective tool for treating an ailed shoulder or neck, an anti-gravity treadmill can help to heal injured legs or feet. The machine, which essentially makes individuals feel up to 80% lighter while walking or running, alleviates force and tension upon bones and joints in the lower body. Numerous studies suggest an anti-gravity is an effective tool for athletes to keep moving and get back in the game faster.
Aquatic therapy is a method in which individuals do exercises in the water. This is beneficial in many ways, as the water reduces stress on the joints and decreases inflammation. One study showed individuals with ankle or knee ligament injuries healed faster when exercising in the water rather than on land. What must also be considered is the fact that aquatic therapy, like an anti-gravity treadmill, allows you to continue exercising during your injury; this helps to maintain your level of physical fitness more than absolute rest.
MSM works as an anti-inflammatory and is a naturally occurring substance in plants, animals and humans. It is believed MSM helps the body by supplying additional sulfur, which assists the health of connective tissue. Clinical trials support the effectiveness of MSM in treating joint pain.
Specifically, MSM is an ideal supplement for those suffering from tendonitis, tennis elbow or any other injury sustained to soft tissue around the joints.
Vitamins & Minerals
While it is often overlooked, one’s diet can play a part in speeding up the healing process. Aiming for a balanced intake is key; consider taking supplements to get all you need:
- Vitamin A — helps with inflammation, assists collagen formation
- Vitamin C — boosts immune system, strengthens collagen bonds
- Copper — assists with red blood cell production, strengthens tissue
- Zinc — repairs tissue
Get Well Soon!
By altering your diet, seeing a doctor and adopting these beneficial exercise regimes, you could be back at peak performance in no time, or less time than it would have taken, anyway.
Image: Anna Gutermuth