Last week, we discussed some of the most common sports injuries, including strains and sprains, tendinosis, and stress fractures. To read, click here: Common Sports Injuries Part 1: What Are They?
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Sports injuries can often be prevented by proper conditioning, warm-ups and cool-downs, appropriate safety equipment and techniques, and staying hydrated. But injuries still happen to the best of us sometimes.
What to Do if you Have a Sports Injury?
If you might have one of the above injuries, the first step is appropriate diagnosis. Sports injuries are usually diagnosed from the history of the activity that brought on the pain, along with a physical examination.
X-rays may be appropriate to rule out a fracture. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and/or diagnostic ultrasound may be appropriate for soft tissue injuries like tendinitis and sprains.
Fractures require a cast or other stabilizing devise after the bone is put back in place, but usually surgery is not required.
For most of the other common sports injuries the treatment involves the following:
- Rest, perhaps up to 48 hours depending on the severity. Your doctor can guide you through this process so you don’t further injure yourself, but you also become active as soon as possible (which is linked to a more rapid recovery).
- Ice or Heat can help with pain reduction and tissue healing.
- Compression may reduce swelling (go with what your doctor advises, depending on the injury).
- Elevation may reduce swelling.
- Pain relievers can be appropriate, but listen to your doctor, as research has shown that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug may slow the healing process by restricting the body’s natural healing mechanisms.
- Joint manipulation by a chiropractic physician has been shown to help with pain reduction and more rapid recovery (of course depending on your specific injury).
If you’d like to read more, check out the American Chiropractic Association’s page on Sports Injuries, as well as the handout on Beginning Exercise Safely: Healthy Living – Exercise
Dr. Michael Herb, DC, DACBSP is a Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians at Absolute Wellness Center in Eugene, OR. If you’d like to learn more about Sports Medicine and whether it might be appropriate for helping you, give us a call at 541-484-5777.