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Dealing with your sports injuries

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As with all physical activity, playing sport of any kind can leave you open to injury. From the impact injuries usually associated with contact sports such as rugby, to muscle strains and pulls, it is important to know how to treat your injuries to minimise their negative effects.

The most important thing to consider when playing any sport is that it is vital to do as much as you can to prevent these injuries happening in the first place. To do this you should ensure that you follow a balanced diet plan, warm up sufficiently and take vitamin supplements or glucosamine sulphate to promote stronger joints and faster joint repair respectively.

Whether you are a professional sportsman or an amateur enthusiast, the first thing to remember is that you should never attempt to simply ‘play through' an injury and expect it to heal of its own accord. Whilst this can and does happen, it is vital that you have any prospective injury assessed as soon as it appears. It may feel like a small muscle twinge or pull now, but if you continue to play on the effected muscle or tendon, this may aggravate the injury further and lead to a serious injury.

Your first point of call after sustaining an injury whilst playing sport should ideally be an appropriate sports therapist or doctor, who can professionally evaluate your injury and advise you as to what is the best course of action for recovery.

However, a large variety of acute injuries obtained whilst playing sport can be successfully treated at home and a great way to do this is by following the P.R.I.C.E principle. P.R.I.C.E stands for protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation.

1. Protection 

The first step in the P.R.I.C.E theory is to protect the injury. For example, if you have injured your ankle, perhaps an ankle strain, the use of an ankle brace is advised. The brace will help prevent any further injury to the ankle, by reducing its movement, as the ankle is in a far weaker state directly after injury.

2. Rest 

By restricting your movement of the effected area after the injury, you minimise the risk of aggravating the injury further.

3. Ice 

By applying ice to most common sports injury you are utilising natures most efficient anti-inflammatory. By icing the affected area for around 20 minutes every hour or so, you are taking an important initial step to aiding your recovery.

4. Compression

In the same way that ice works as an excellent anti-inflammatory without the aid for medicine, applying compression will also help to reduce swelling.

5. Elevation

If possible, by elevating the injured or swollen area (above your heart if possible), you will help to reduce swelling. Following this, physiotherapists then recommend controlled movement or stretches of the affected area


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