There is nothing worse than an injury to your back or spine while playing sports. However, treatment for a sports injury depends on severity. While most sports injuries can be treated at home with RICE therapy, others are more serious and require medical care. Keep reading to find out what you should do in order to treat a minor or major sports injury.
Minor Sports Injuries
Some of the most common minor sports injuries include sprains, muscle injuries, ligament damage, and tendonitis. Most of the time, these injuries can be treated at home with RICE therapy. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression and evaluation and involves the following:
- Rest: The injured area should receive at least 48 hours of rest. This means, you should avoid exercise and decrease your daily physical activity.
- Ice: Ice packs should be applied to the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes every two or three hours. A towel should be placed over the injured area prior to ice pack application to prevent ice burn.
- Compression: Compression bandages should be used to limit swelling and restrict movement.
- Elevation: The injured body part should be raised above the level of your heart whenever possible to reduce swelling.
You can expect the day after you’ve suffered from a sports injury to be the most painful. Fortunately, your injury will likely begin to heal within 72 hours. Continue to use RICE therapy for the first 48 to 72 hours after your injury. Also, begin to lightly stretch the injured area without pushing it to the point of pain. Continue stretching until you feel comfortable using and exercising the injured area normally.
Major Sports Injuries
If you believe your injury is severe, you should schedule an appointment with a sports injury clinic or go to the emergency room. These symptoms usually signify that a sports injury is serious and requires immediate medical attention:
- Breathing challenges
- Severe pain and swelling
- Joint instability
- Large lumps, bent limbs at peculiar angles, and other obvious deformities
- Crunching or popping sounds when the injure area is moved
In addition, you should visit a sports injury clinic if you have an injury that appears minor but shows no improvement with RICE therapy. Painkillers, immobilization, cortisone injections, or surgery may be an option.
Contact EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region Today
If you’ve injured your back or spine while playing a sport, contact EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region today. Our reputable spine experts will closely examine your injury and provide you with an appropriate treatment plan. Call us at 828-330-2020 or use our online appointment form.