Sports injury may include ligament or muscle sprain or strain such as a pulled hamstring or calf muscle, deep bruising or swelling, or fractured (broken) bones.
The first 48 hours
Use the RICE method:
Stop the sport you are doing, it could make it worse if you continue through the pain.
Wrap a bag of frozen peas or an ice pack in a damp tea towel, and place over the injury for 10-15 minutes at a time. Re-freeze the pack the re-apply an hour later.
Use a tubigrip bandage or just wrap a tea towel around the injury , this helps reduce swelling but make sure it is not too tight – if you feel your foot or fingers throbbing take it off.
Sit with the injured part elevated for periods of time to help the swelling drain away, i.e. if it is your foot, sit with your foot up and on cushions.
By using RICE method for the 24-48 hours post injury you will give it the best change of a speedy recovery. DO NOT use heat in the first 48 hours as this can cause increased bleeding and swelling.
If you have extreme pain which is not eased by RICE method or are unable to put your foot to the floor, or if you has immediate swelling close to a joint, you may have fractured the bone. Seek medical attention immediately.
Consult one of our physiotherapists if you have any concerns about your injury or if it is not improving in a few days. Physiotherapy can help to speed the recovery up and can prevent long term problems. Treatment may include massage, manipulation, ultrasound, exercises and acupuncture. If you are a sports person, our physios are experts in this and will provide you with sport specific rehabilitation to ensure you are fully prepared to return to your sport with no problem.