Keeping fit by playing sport is great for your health and wellbeing. Sports injuries can be prevented by considering a wide variety of factors such as the environment of a particular sport, fitness levels, protective equipment and nutrition.
Bruises, muscles strains, ligament strains and sore muscles can all be treated with the RICER rule – a well-known sport formula for recovering from injury. It stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and Referral.
- Rest helps prevent any further damage to the joint. Try to move as little as possible.
- Ice cools damaged tissue, reducing pain, swelling and bleeding. Use a cold pack by wrapping it in a towel and placing it on the injury. Or try a cold spray. Do not apply ice directly to an injury.
- Compression supports the cooling action with a brace, tape or bandage. Whatever you use, make sure it’s not too tight fitting.
- Elevation helps reduce bleeding and swelling. Try using a pillow for extra comfort and support.
- Referral to a doctor or physiotherapist is important. They’ll be able to make a diagnosis and arrange any ongoing care and treatment.