Acute sports injuries are a common occurrence among athletes and weekend warriors due to many reasons, such as a sudden increase in the intensity of a workout, overtraining, or poor form or technique. There are different ways to develop an acute sports injury, which can range from soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains to hard tissue injuries such as bone fractures. Treating these types of injuries requires prompt medical attention in order to reduce the risk of long-term complications or further injury and start the healing process.
If you have sustained a sports injury, take the following steps to give your body the best chance at making a speedy and complication-free recovery.
1. Immediately Stop the Activity and Rest
If you experience sudden pain while exercising or playing a sport, stop immediately. Pain is a sign that something is wrong, which you need to pay attention to. Take a rest and let the issue get better before resuming your normal activities. If the injury doesn’t heal naturally within a few days, it’s time to see a doctor. Never play through the pain, as it can lead to more damage and complications.
2. Apply Ice to the Injured Area
Applying ice cubes wrapped in cloth or an ice pack directly onto the affected body part helps decrease inflammation and swelling, while also providing relief from pain around the site of trauma. Be very gentle when you place the ice over the area, and if it hurts due to the low temperature, remove and apply it again. It is recommended that you ice the area for 20 mins at a time, several times a day for the first two days since the injury.
3. Apply Compression
Wrapping elastic bandages around a swollen limb provides many benefits – compression, which increases circulation to the area, support to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments as they heal, and restriction on movement of the injured joint, preventing further damage and allowing the injury to heal properly without disturbance.
Keeping limbs elevated above heart level whenever possible promotes drainage away from inflamed tissues, resulting in less swelling and discomfort overall. It is recommended that you do this multiple times throughout the day, depending on what type of activity you’re engaging in.
5. Seek Professional Medical Advice
If your symptoms do not get better with initial at-home treatment, you may be dealing with a more severe injury, in which case, it’s best to seek out professional treatment provided by a sports medicine doctor. A sports medicine doctor specializes in treating injured athletes and weekend warriors, and with their expertise, you can accelerate injury healing time, so you can get back to your sport or activity sooner.
Treatment for Acute Sports Injury in Dover, NJ
At the Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey, we have a fellowship-trained sports medicine specialist – Dr. Steven Stecker – on our team, who can provide you with the focused treatment you need to get you back in action soon. Dr. Stecker serves as a team physician for a number of professional sports teams, such as the Florida Bobcats, Florida Panthers, and Miami Fusion, guaranteeing you will be treated by one of the best in sports medicine in New Jersey.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Stecker, call our office today at (973) 989-0888, or use our convenient online request form.