If you have injured yourself either playing or competing in sports, then you probably want to get moving again as soon as possible. While you must ensure that your body gets the rest and recuperation it needs to fully recover, there are steps you can take to aid the overall healing process.
From the well-known RICE method to the best muscle recovery supplements, read on to discover how you can recover from your sporting injury faster and get back to being fighting fit sooner rather than later.
The RICE method
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If you have been injured before, then you will probably already have heard of the RICE method. This sports injury recovery technique is most commonly used to help treat acute soft tissue injuries.
If you are unfamiliar with this treatment, RICE means Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, and is recommended for a lot of common injuries.
As soon as you realize you have sustained an injury, you need to stop any physical activity and rest as much as possible for at least the first 48 hours.
Apply an ice pack to the injured area for 15-20 minutes every 3 hours for the first two days to reduce swelling and any pain or discomfort.
Wrap the area using a compression garment to help reduce swelling further, ensuring it is snug but not too tight.
Finally, keep the injured body part elevated, as this can help to reduce pain, throbbing, and swelling.
Once the initial swelling has gone down, usually after a period of 2-3 days, you can now start to try some gentle motion exercises to help restore movement to the injured muscle.
If you compete in sports professionally or you have a severe injury, it is advisable to work with a qualified physiotherapist to create a bespoke recovery plan that includes exercises that are tailored to your body and your specific injury.
If your sports injury is mild, you can find a range of motion exercise tutorials online that can help to get you started.
For best results, once you start a motion exercise routine, make sure you are consistent in your efforts.
Take a supplement
Although you should be able to get all the vitamins and minerals you need from your diet if you would like to give your body a little boost when recovering from an injury, you may want to try taking a supplement.
Depending on the type of injury you have sustained, there are several supplements that you can benefit from. For example, if you have a bone injury such as a fracture or break, a supplement containing calcium and vitamin D is a good choice.
Vitamin C is good for helping to rebuild tissue and contains anti-inflammatory properties, whereas omega 3 helps reduce swelling and inflammation and speed up overall recovery.
If you would prefer to change your diet to help you heal rather than start taking a supplement, then focus on eating foods that have high amounts of protein, such as meat, fish, and soya, which aids the body’s muscle-building process.
Try red light therapy.
An increasing number of professional athletes are turning to red light therapy to recover from an injury. A non-invasive treatment technique, red light therapy or infrared light therapy, is highly effective at soothing aching muscles, aiding recovery, and boosting overall wellness.
Red light therapy works by using wavelengths of light that penetrate the skin and jumpstart tissue recovery. It also helps to increase blood flow, stimulate cell regeneration and reduce inflammation.
In terms of recovery time, red light therapy can substantially reduce the time it takes for your body to heal from an injury. This treatment is suitable for a wide range of sporting injuries including sprains, strains, ligament damage, and tendonitis.
Plus, you can buy whole body red light therapy beds that can be used from your home.
Adopt a positive mindset.
You may have already heard this, but recovery is not just a physical but a mental process. Although it may be hard, especially if you have sustained a severe injury or you are missing out on important games, you need to try and get into a positive mindset if you want to reduce your recovery time.
One of the most effective ways to do this is by surrounding yourself with positive people who actively support your recovery.
Studies suggest that people who do not have a strong support network are much more likely to suffer from chronic pain following an injury, accident, or illness. Also, if you find yourself having negative thoughts, which no doubt you will some days, try to replace these with positive ones.
Try cold and heat therapy
Both cold and heat therapies are popular techniques used to help professional athletes recover from injuries and boost overall performance.
Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, is known for its ability to reduce swelling and inflammation. It can also help to reduce nerve activity which in turn reduces pain. There are several different types of cold therapies to try, including ice packs, ice baths, coolant sprays, and ice massages.
Heat therapies, on the other hand, are used to boost circulation and blood flow to a particular area of the body. High temperatures can also help the muscles relax and reduce pain and discomfort. Some of the most popular types of heat therapy include saunas, dry heat packs, and heating pads.
Whether you are a professional athlete or a keen amateur sportsperson, sustaining an injury can be hard to swallow. That being said, if you want to reduce your recovery time and get back to competing again, you need to get in the right mindset.
Take active steps to aid your recovery, as detailed above, and try to remain positive, even when you experience setbacks.
Nearly every athlete succumbs to any injury at some point in their lives, but how you deal with this will determine how quickly you can recover and come back stronger than ever before.