Injuries are pretty common occurrences when you live an active lifestyle. Acute muscle injuries can occur either in your backyard or in the sports field. When you suddenly stretch a muscle beyond its elasticity, these injuries show up and put you on the sideline. However, most of the time, you may not need a professional doctor or trainer to treat these kinds of injuries. With some primary treatment and rehabilitation strategies, you can treat your injuries and go back to your usual life. In this article, we are going to discuss how you can prevent yourself from falling in injuries, the basics of treating injuries, and recommend you when to see a doctor. Stay tuned if you had similar concerns. You may find the answers that you were always looking for.
Prevention is always better than cure. When an injury claims you as one of its victims, your daily routine gets seriously hampered. Therefore, adopting some preventive measures can be highly beneficial for you. When the following measures are taken, you may reduce the risk of injuries significantly:
- Use the correct equipment. Regardless of where you work or what type of work you do, correct equipment can make the job easier and prevent potential injuries. If required, use protective equipment when needed.
- If your work requires heavy lifting and active muscle lifting, include cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility training in your fitness plan.
- Cool down after exercise and sports. It may require twice as much time as warming up.
- Take plenty of rest when you are tired. It will prevent heart-related illness and reduce injury.
- Drink plenty of water. It will keep your muscles hydrated and make them less prone to injury.
- Delay or stop high-intensity activities when there is high heat or humidity present.
- Properly warm up your muscles before conducting exercises.
- Follow the proper procedure of the activity.
Without properly treating the injuries, it can impact one’s life in the long term. Hindering natural abilities, long-lasting pain, deformation of muscle and the bone structure, difficulties in walking and running are a few of the examples that can occur due to an injury. Fortunately, there are few simple ways that all these scary conditions can be avoided. Athletes and fitness professionals often recommend the RICE method to treat an injury. It’s an acronym for rest, ice, compression, and elevation that can significantly help a person in treating injuries.
In case of an injury, one should immediately stop any activities and rest as much as possible. The resting period can last and is not limited to 72 hours, depending on the severity of the injury. Additionally, one should avoid putting any weight on the injured muscle for at least 24 - 48 hours. Resting helps in reducing the bruising and from further damaging the injured area.
Icing the injured area can highly help to reduce pain and swelling. One should apply an ice pack covered with an absorbent towel for 15-20 minutes every two - three hours. This icing should be continued for at least 24 - 48 hours of being injured. Ice packs, frozen peas, or corn can be used to ice the affected area.
Compression helps in reducing swelling of the injured area. One should wrap the area with a medical bandage. The tension shouldn’t be too much, which can cause disruption in the blood flow. If the skin below the bandage turns blue or feels cold, numb, or tingly, loosen the bandage.
Last but not least, keep the injured body part raised above the heart level. It highly helps in reducing pain, throbbing, and swelling. The injured area must be kept elevated whenever possible with the help of a pillow.
In addition to manually treating injured areas, there is a newly developed lightbox technology that can significantly help in treating injuries. Lightboxes consist of a significant number of LED lights that provide 10,000 lux of light to deliver light therapy. When light therapy is applied to the injured muscles, the affected area is exposed to clean light energy. As a result, healing and repairing of the damaged cells are induced. Light therapy also helps in reducing pain and increasing the density of the muscles. For this reason, the healing time can be decreased significantly, pains can be managed effectively, and the person can go back to his everyday life with optimum health.
When to See a Doctor
Although minor injuries can be treated without consulting a specialist, sometimes, the injury can be bigger and more threatening. If you have any of the following symptoms after getting injured, consult a doctor immediately or visit the emergency room. The symptoms being:
- Severe pain and swelling
- Visible deformities like a bent limb or large lumps
- Crunching or popping sounds coming from the injured area when moving
- Inability to put any weight on the injured area
- Trouble breathing
- Instability in a joint
Additionally, consult your doctor if your injury doesn’t improve with home treatment, even if it seems small. After a month, there should be no swelling or bruising around the injured area. So, if you notice any swelling or discoloration after a month, contact the physician. Intolerable pain in the first week also calls for a visit to the doctor.
Injury is a natural part of life. You can either be a pro athlete or a normal everyday job holder; still, you can experience injuries for several reasons. Properly following the RICE method can be very helpful in treating minor injuries. Additionally, light therapy can help significantly in your recovery and prevention process. So, don’t be afraid to go out there to enjoy your best life as you need to break some eggs to make omelets.