People are becoming more active. This is a wonderful thing to see, but with more action, increased levels of people are suffering a sports injury. Fortunately, most sports injuries can be treated effectively, and most people who suffer a sports injury can return to physical activity after the injury. Even better, many sports injuries can be prevented if people take the proper precautions.
What Are Sports Injuries?
The term sports injury, in the broadest sense, refers to the kinds of injuries that most commonly occur during sports or exercise and involve the musculoskeletal system, which includes the muscles, bones, and associated tissues like cartilage. The term sports injury is also often referred to as soft tissue injury. Sports injuries are often due to:
- Poor training practices
- Improper equipment
- Lack of conditioning
- Insufficient warmup and stretching
Common Sport Injuries
- Muscle sprains and strains
- Tears of the ligaments that hold joints together
- Tears of the tendons that support joints and allow them to move
- Dislocated joints
- Fractured bones, including vertebrae
Most sports injuries are acute injuries and can be treated easily.
Acute injuries, such as a sprained ankle or a sprained wrist occur suddenly during activity. Signs of an acute injury include:
- Sudden, severe pain
- Inability to place weight on a lower limb
- Extreme tenderness in an upper limb
- Inability to move a joint through full range of motion
- Extreme limb weakness
- Visible dislocation/break of a bone
Chronic injuries, such as Repetitive Strain Injuries usually result from overusing one area of the body while playing a sport or exercising over a long period. Signs of a chronic injury include:
- Pain when performing activities
- A dull ache when at rest
Treating a Sport Injury
Whether an injury is acute or chronic, there is never a good reason to try to “work through” the pain of an injury. When you have pain from a particular movement or activity, stop! By continuing the activity only causes further injury.
Some soft tissue injuries require prompt medical treatment, while others can be self-treated. Cooling an injury with Physicool will rapidly reduce the swelling and pain associated with sports injuries and speed up recovery.
Medical and Healthcare Professionals Recommend PRICE
The quality of acute stage management of a soft tissue injury is thought to be an important factor in determining short and long-term recovery.
In the early stages, soft tissue injuries are characterised by an acute inflammatory response. Protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation (PRICE) remains one of the most recommended approaches for the management of sports injuries and in particular the control of inflammation.
The aim is to minimise haemorrhage, swelling, inflammation, cellular metabolism and pain, to provide the optimum conditions for healing to take place. Physicool combines the first four elements of PRICE in a single reusable therapeutic bandage.
The PRICE approach is recommended by NHS Choices:
- Protection – protect the injured area from further injury – using a support bandage if appropriate
- Rest – stop the activity that caused the injury, and rest the injured joint or muscle. Avoid activity for the first 48 to 72 hours after injury.
- Ice – for the first 48 hours after the injury, apply ice.
- Compression – compress or bandage the injured area to limit any swelling and movement that could damage it further.
- Elevation – keep the injured area raised and supported on a pillow to help reduce swelling.
Physicool provides protection, cooling and compression for the affected area to help the healing process.
When to Seek Medical Treatment
You should call a health professional if:
- The injury causes severe pain, swelling, or numbness
- You can’t tolerate weight on the area
- The pain or dull ache of an old injury is accompanied by increased swelling or joint abnormality or instability
For more information on our range of cooling products, from plantar fasciitis treatment to tennis elbow relief and even knee replacement recovery, get in touch with us today to find out more.