The following is a guest post by Paul Hench. This is certainly a topic of great importance to all martial artists.
Treating Sports Injuries – Dos and Don’ts
It’s the worst thing that could happen to a sportsman or anyone who is a keen fitness enthusiast – when injury strikes, it could signal the end of their playing days in the worst case. It all depends on how serious the injury is and how effective and immediate the first aid measures have been. Treating sports injuries is sometimes as simple as bandaging a sprain and resting for a few days; at others, it involves complicated surgery followed by a long period of rehabilitation and therapy. While the main treatment is the responsibility of doctors and other healthcare professionals, there are certain things that you should and should not do when the injury occurs to prevent aggravating it.
Here’s what you should do:
Do stop playing or exercising as soon as you feel any pain or discomfort – when you push on in spite of the pain, you risk making the injury worse and inviting permanent damage.
Do rest for a day or two instead of going back to playing or exercising again.
Do see your doctor if the pain persists for more than a few days or worsens over a period of time.
Do apply an ice compress on any swelling, and if it does not subside, do see a doctor immediately.
Do use an elastic bandage to restrict mobility, especially if it’s your knee or ankle.
Do elevate the injured area – if it’s your knee or ankle, put your foot up on a pillow so that the injury heals faster.
In short, the Dos involve the RICE therapy when there is no external bleeding – Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate.
Do see a doctor immediately if there is any kind of external bleeding.
Do follow instructions if you need a surgery and rehabilitation and therapy following the surgery. When your joints are injured while playing a sport (in most cases, it is the knee), therapy is extremely important to regain your range of motion and muscle strength.
Here’s what you shouldn’t do:
Don’t be stubborn and continue to play even when you’re advised not to do so or when you know that there’s something wrong with you.
Don’t pop painkillers unless they’re prescribed by your doctor – they not only cause side effects, they also mask the real problem by eliminating the pain and convincing you that you’re normal.
Don’t assume that you know your body better than your doctor and override their suggestions and orders.
Sports injuries cause more than just physical pain – the mental agony and apprehension that you go through wondering if you will ever be able to play again takes its toll on you if you don’t adopt a positive attitude and follow the right treatment. Do what has to be done, and focus on getting better so that you can start doing what you love again.
This guest post is contributed by Paul Hench, he writes on the topic of masters in public health. He welcomes your comments at his email id: firstname.lastname@example.org.