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Sports Injury Treatments: How Pain Relief Australia Can Help

An active lifestyle is the ultimate goal for optimal good health, with many people enjoying social, semi-pro, and professional sporting activities. Whether within your local community or on a premier-league playing field or court, if you sustain an injury while participating in your favourite game or workout, what should you do? Many sports injury treatments are available to help get you back on your feet and out on the field, and Pain Relief Australia stocks a range of sports injury equipment to incorporate into your rehabilitative treatment plan to help manage your pain and recovery.

Seeking Medical Attention: The Best Sports Injury Management

If you’ve been injured exercising or playing sports, it’s one thing to go home and ice the area, yet you can’t just prop yourself up on pillows, fingers crossed, take some sports injury pain relief tablets, and hope you’ll be okay by the morning. Depending on the type of injury, you may require X-rays for a potential bone break or fracture, an ultrasound or MRI scan if you’ve incurred soft-tissue damage or further sports injury rehab.

Identifying soft-tissue damage can help reduce the risk of further injury as you may require the right sports injury equipment to ensure limitation of movement. What may seem like minor damage can become much more serious if left unattended, especially fractures, dislocations and broken bones. As the body attempts to heal the area, it can cause more discomfort if not treated correctly. If you have received any of the following, you will need to seek immediate medical attention for correct diagnosis:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Neck or spine injuries
  • Broken bones or potential fractures, which often involve extreme pain
  • Wounds to the eyes, head or face
  • Abdominal injury, regardless of whether you feel pain or not, if the accident is severe, it is best to seek emergency care in case of internal bleeding.

The Most Common Sporting Injuries

The most common sports injuries are sprains and strains, followed by fractures and dislocations, tendon and ligament injuries, and overuse injuries, which can occur in all areas of the body.

Sports Injuries to the Lower Body

The lower body is typically the area most injured in sports and exercise, and the most frequently occurring sports injury is patellofemoral syndrome (PFPS), or knee injury. While the patella or kneecap is intended to travel within the groove at the end of the femur (thigh bone), a fall can cause muscle swelling around the kneecap, creating an imbalance, which can then cause more swelling and discomfort.

To remedy this, mild isometric exercises strengthen the inner thigh muscles, while gentle stretches to the outer muscles can help correct the imbalance. The right sports injury equipment, such as a knee brace or firmly strapping the knee, is recommended to hold the patella and surrounding muscles in place. A physiotherapist can recommend the best rehabilitation exercises and pain management to ensure your knee repairs swiftly and correctly.

Sports Injuries to the Upper Body

The second and third most frequently occurring sports injuries are shoulder injuries and tennis (or golf) elbow, often known as medial or lateral epicondylitis. The shoulder is the weakest joint of the body, yet often encounters the greatest force during sports. Most shoulder injuries are due to limited strength, flexibility or stabilisation and can manifest as dislocations, muscle strain, ligament sprain or misalignment.

An overuse sports injury like tennis elbow occurs due to athletes continually gripping the racquet or golf club, and the repetitive action has inflamed the tendons in the forearm, making mobility in the wrist and hand extremely painful.

Common Sports Injuries and Immediate Treatments

If you’ve hurt yourself exercising or playing sport, it’s best to ice the area, utilise sports injury pain relief and rest before considering your next move. Among the top 10 most common sports injuries are:

  • Hamstring strain - a pulled muscle from not warming up properly before activities, which can cause a strain or tear in the muscle. Rest and icing are recommended, followed by stretching and strengthening exercises and see a physio if pain persists longer than two weeks.
  • Sciatica - often experienced by cyclists, is back pain caused by a bulging disc or pinched nerve that travels down the spine, through the legs and often to the feet. Rest and stretching can help, but if pain, numbness or tingling occur for more than two weeks, see a specialist.
  • Shin splints - whereby a sportsperson will have pain in the lower leg bone or tibia, often a problem for runners and soccer players, and recommended treatment is rest, icing, shoes with appropriate arch support, and gradually re-engaging with running activities.
  • Groin and Hip Flexor strain - often due to lack of flexibility, groin pull is caused by quick side-to-side action or even getting out of a car. Hip flexors are weakened by sitting for long periods or poor posture and can be injured easily during sprints, rapid inclines, quick turns, and sudden starts. These injuries are best treated by icing for 20 minutes and anti-inflammatory medication for the first 72 hours. Following that time, alternate icing with heat packs for 20 minutes each.
  • ACL tear or strain - often caused in sports by slowing down and attempting to cut, pivot or quickly change direction. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a major stabilising ligament in the knee, and depending on the severity of the tear, surgery, months of rest, and aggressive rehabilitation therapy may be required.

First Aid for Sprains, Strains and Joint Injuries for Sports Injury Rehabilitation

For sports injury treatment, immediate first aid response is the RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) unless the damage requires emergency triage at your local hospital. Your first step towards sports injury rehab is to rest the area for up to 72 hours, preferably elevated above heart level, icing for 20 minutes every 2 hours and strapping the area to minimise swelling and movement that risks further injury. Pain Relief Australia has several brace, strapping and support products to help you keep the area immobile.

Resist the urge to apply heat as this can raise blood supply, and certainly do not massage the area as this will also increase swelling and blood flow, delaying the healing process. Also, avoid drinking alcohol, as it produces inflammation and thins the blood, making the wound more susceptible to heavy bleeding and bruising. Book an appointment with your GP as soon as possible to obtain pain medication, a referral for physical therapy and possible surgical intervention should it be required. A physiotherapist can tailor a personalised sports injury rehab program, which may include strengthening and flexibility exercises. Pain Relief Australia has a range of strength and conditioning products to assist your recovery.

How to Prevent Sports Injuries and Recommended Management

The best way to manage sports injuries is to avoid them altogether. Prevention is the best cure, so ensure you are well-prepared for your favourite sporting activities, and always:

  • Warm up properly before strenuous activities or sports games by stretching slowly and moving the body.
  • Wear appropriate footwear. Poor shoe choices can impact your feet, ankles, knee joints and hips.
  • Tape or strap vulnerable joints to minimise the risk of injury, and use the right safety equipment, such as mouthguards, pads and helmets.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after training and games, and avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day between 11am and 3pm if possible.
  • Maintain overall fitness and strength, especially during the off-season and use cross-training as a way to strengthen areas that may become weakened through repetition of alternate exercises.
  • Never exert yourself beyond your limit, gradually increase your strength and performance over time and always use the correct form and technique when exercising and weight training.
  • Cool down appropriately and allow adequate recovery time between games and workouts.

Sports Injury Treatments

The team at Pain Relief Australia is always happy to help you find the best products to maintain strength, reduce the risk of sports injuries and support your recovery should you need it. If you’ve injured yourself on the field, track or court, check our pain relief finder to determine the best products for your health and well-being. At Pain Relief Australia, we want to help you succeed in your favourite sports.