Injuries from sport and exercise happen from time to time, but often it’s the action we take in the early stages that help prevent delayed healing or complications.
Physiotherapist Kara Demmrich, the founder of CoolXChange compression and cooling gel bandage, shares her top tips for treating injuries.
1. Apply the RICE method
Reduce the swelling and pain within the first 24-48 hours by applying the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate). Rest and protect the injured area, ensuring that the site doesn’t get damaged further.
Next, ice and compress the injured site to reduce blood flow and heat to the area. If you don’t have access to ice, an alternative is CoolXChange, a 2-in-1 gel compression bandage that provides low level cooling and compression at the same time.
After cooling the injured area, elevate it above your heart as much as possible for the next 48 hours.
2. Start moving
Begin gentle movement early on to prevent associated joint and/or muscle stiffness.
3. Build strength
Ease back into strength training as the pain and injury allows. Don’t forget to warm up before using your muscles. This should involve soft, slow movements that you’ll be using when playing a particular sport or activity, and then work your way up to more intense movement.
4. Treat the whole area
Don’t just focus on the injured site alone – make sure you are maintaining strength and flexibility of muscles and joints above and/or below the injury site. Treat injuries holistically.
5. Seek professional help
If the injury persists, see a health care professional. Treating an injury correctly in the early stages can prevent delayed healing or further complications in the future.