Sports injuries occur when playing sports or while exercising. Sports injuries can result from accidents, inadequate training, improper use of protective devices, or insufficient stretching or warm-up exercises. The most common sports injuries are sprains, strains, fractures, and dislocations.
The most common treatment recommended for an injury is rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE).
- Rest: Avoid activities that may cause injury.
- Ice: Ice packs can be applied to the injured area which will help to diminish swelling and pain. Ice should be applied over a towel to the affected area for 15-20 minutes, four times a day for several days. Never place ice directly over the skin.
- Compression: Compression of the injured area helps to reduce swelling. Elastic wraps, air casts, and splints can accomplish this.
- Elevation: Elevate the injured part above heart level to reduce swelling and pain.
Some of the measures that are followed to prevent sports related injuries include:
- Follow an exercise program to strengthen the muscles
- Gradually increase your exercise level and avoid overdoing the exercise
- Ensure that you wear properly-fitted protective gear such as elbow guards, eye gear, facemasks, mouth guards, pads, comfortable clothes, and athletic shoes before playing any sports activity.
- Make sure that you do warm up and cool down exercises before and after sports activities. These exercises will help to stretch muscles, increase flexibility, and reduce soft tissue injuries.
- Avoid exercising immediately after eating a large meal
- Maintain a healthy diet which will nourish your body.
- Avoid playing when you are injured or tired.
- Learn all the rules of the sports you play.
- Ensure that you are physically fit to play the sport