Becoming injured isn’t fun; if you are a sportsperson, that also affects your training schedule and your physical fitness levels as it puts you out of action for a certain period of time. The problem also is that many people do things that prolong their recovery. Here are some things you shouldn’t do if you have suffered a sports injury:
#1 Ignoring RICE
Most people know how important RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) is when they suffer an injury. The objective of RICE is to ensure that the primary injury is protected and that the secondary injury is limited; this is achieved by shielding the tissue from any further trauma and by reducing swelling and bleeding. Ignoring RICE can result in excessive swelling or bleeding which increases the pressure on the joint or muscle. This can restrict the flow of oxygen and blood to the adjacent cells and cause much more damage than the original injury – this is referred to as a secondary injury.
#2 Apply heat
Never apply any heat to injuries sustained less than a week ago. This is important because when you sustain any type of injury, several blood vessels in that area also become torn. If that area swells up very fast, it means you have torn a particularly large blood vessel and the aim has to stop the bleed as soon as possible.
When you apply heat, it increases the flow of blood to that area which has the opposite effect and it causes the injury to worsen. It is believed that heat also increases the inflammatory response and excessive inflammation can result in more tissue damage. In case of an acute injury, you should always apply ice to the affected as this helps reduce the swelling as well as the bleeding.
#3 Consume alcohol
Alcohol tends to thin the blood and this hampers your blood’s ability to effectively form clots. The longer it takes for clotting to take place, the more profusely you will bleed at the point of injury which will worsen the condition. It’s best to abstain from consuming alcohol for at least 24-hours post an injury. If there is excessive swelling at the injury site, you should stay away from alcohol for at least 72 hours.
#4 You attempt to run or jog
If you have suffered acute injuries, running or jogging will affect the weakened structure and may result in further muscle tears. Running is a full-body activity which also involves spine and shoulder movements. If you have injuries in those areas, these movements can cause them to worsen. Running increases blood circulation in the entire body and this results in increased swelling and bleeding at the site of injury which hampers healing, regardless of the area you have the injury in.
#5 Applying massage
An injury weakens that area and the new cells that are forming there can easily become damaged/torn. This is why no massage should be applied within the first five days of sustaining injuries. Even after this period of time, the massage must be applied with great care. It’s best to consult a physiotherapist and get treatment from them. They will provide the right type of massage therapy and ensure that the injury site isn’t impacted in any way.
We at Insync Physiotherapy have skilled and experienced physiotherapists on board and can provide excellent treatments and care. For any more information on the different types of services we provide, feel free to contact us on 02 9569 5145. You can also send us your queries via this online form.
Thanks for reading,
Insync Physiotherapy Team
02 9569 5145