For active types, there are few things more frustrating than an injury. This can halt all of the good work that you have been putting in to get into shape or maintain fitness, plus many injuries will interfere with simple daily activities. If you have suffered an injury while exercising, then it can be hard to know the best way to treat it, when to seek medical attention and when it is safe to resume exercising again. With this in mind, here are a few tips if you have injured yourself while exercising and you do not know what to do next.
Stop What You Are Doing
The very first thing to do is to immediately stop what you are doing. Continuing to exercise after even a minor injury can lead to further damage which will only set you back further. Stop what you are doing, seek medical attention if it is urgent but if not then you need to go home and rest. Additionally, never rush back into exercising as this will only aggravate the injury and could put you on the sidelines for even longer.
Most minor injuries will go away after a short period if you know how to look after yourself. What you should do will depend on your specific injury, but most exercise injuries can benefit from a treatment system designed for soft tissue injuries called RICE. This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation as this can reduce the swelling, reduce pain and speed up the recovery process. You can also manage the pain by taking painkillers but always check with your doctor that you are safe to take them and always carefully follow the recommended dosage.
See A Doctor
If the injury is interfering with your daily life, it is not getting better/it is getting worse, and if the pain is severe, then it is a good idea to see a doctor. They will be able to rule out a serious injury and provide guidance in terms of recovery. This may involve recommending a few exercises/stretches, prescribing strong painkillers or recommending you to a specialist for rehabilitation.
See A Specialist
Visiting an injury treatment center is an excellent option if you cannot treat the injury yourself at home. Many of these establishments will use their expertise to diagnose with precision so that the right treatment can be selected which will allow for faster recovery while preventing injury recurrence. Often, this could involve a safe, non-invasive treatment as an alternative to surgery so that you can get back to exercising sooner rather than later.
Ease Back In
Only resume exercise when it is recommended if you have spoken to a specialist about your injury. When you do return, ease your way back in and consider wearing a support of some sort until you are back to full strength.
Suffering an exercise-related injury is frustrating and can be very painful. It is vital that you know how to treat these injuries and when to see a specialist so that you can get back to exercising and prevent the injury from developing into a chronic problem.