4 Steps To Help Speed Up Recovery

This is how you should really be treating an injury.

4 Steps To Help Speed Up Recovery
4 Steps To Help Speed Up Recovery
21 Jan 2016

4 Steps To Help Speed Up Recovery

Photos: ING Image

Coping with an injury while trying to keep up a strenuous training schedule can be very demoralising. Untreated or ill-treated injuries often develop into chronic conditions, but early care for the affected area can tremendously reduce healing time. Here are 4 key steps to take when treating an injury.

Rest
Rest
21 Jan 2016

Rest

Rest an injury for 24 to 48 hours after the incident. This gives you time to assess the severity of the injury. More importantly, it gives the injured area time to recover, rebuild and repair tissues. You may not need to completely immobilise the injured extremity but avoid any movements that cause pain or discomfort. Using something like a sling or even crutches may help during that initial resting phase. Always consult your doctor or physician during the initial phase to ensure proper diagnosis and a treatment plan, which is crucial for a quick recovery.

Ice
Ice
21 Jan 2016

Ice

Two reasons why ice is important: It numbs the place where you may be experiencing discomfort and also reduces the swelling of the affected area. Do not use heat to treat the area as heat will increase the blood flow and add to the swelling. When icing, use a gel pack, or something as simple as an ice bag or even frozen peas. Also, you could wrap the ice in a towel and apply it to the injury for 15 to 20 minutes.

Compress
Compress
21 Jan 2016

Compress

It is common to use a pressure bandage or even a wrap together with your ice pack. A good indicator that you are impeding blood flow is when there is no pain or tingling from the compression. You can also find compression-based clothing at most sports stores, which can be very helpful after the icing phase.

Elevate
Elevate
21 Jan 2016

Elevate

This simply means keeping the injured area above or at an equal height with your heart as gravity pulls down the swelling from the injury. It is especially important for an ankle or leg injury and would require propping your leg up while lying down.

If you’re an athlete, it’s easy to become impatient and return to normal training before you should. This will make you susceptible to re-injuring the area, but more importantly, the injury will never heal completely or properly, which will lead to lingering pain and poor performance. A little extra sacrifice on the front end of an injury will keep you training often and with more intensity.

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