Whether you’re a daily runner, you participate in team sports, or you just enjoy a few hours on the courts with friends on weekends, remaining active is important to you. When injury strikes, how you handle the problem can make all the difference in how quickly, and strongly, you can return to your activity of choice.
At No Mercy Sports Medicine, as our name implies, Dr. Moisés Irizarry-Román and our team specialize in helping our patients lead active and happy lives. And when it comes to sports injuries, our goals align: a quick recovery that gets you off the bench and back into the game.
Here are six recovery tips to help reach those goals.
1. Take immediate action
If you incur an injury, your first step is one of the most important — taking immediate action. In most cases, this means applying the RICE method straight away, which stands for:
Whether you’ve twisted an ankle or your shoulder is in pain, the RICE approach is designed to keep inflammation to a minimum while also allowing time for your body to respond.
2. Seek help
If you’ve applied the RICE method for 24-48 hours and your injury continues to present problems, or gets worse, it’s time to come in and see us. Our two locations are equipped with the latest diagnostic technology, which means we can quickly identify the problem and take prompt action to prevent further damage.
3. Follow doctor’s orders
Once we’ve treated your injury, we’re likely to recommend physical therapy to help you rehab properly. It’s terribly important that you play an active role in your physical therapy, which we tailor to your unique situation and goals. Through strengthening and range-of-motion exercises, physical therapy not only speeds up your recovery, but it also helps you avoid re-injury down the road.
4. Stay fit
Just because you’ve injured yourself, that doesn’t mean you have to take to the couch for weeks or months. For example, if you’ve injured your knee, you can sit in a chair and still work your upper body with weights or simple leg lifts. If you’re nursing a shoulder injury, you can try some standing yoga that works your lower body. We’re happy to help you come up with creative alternatives while you recover that may even improve your performance once you’re ready to get back into the game.
5. Play the mind game
Many of our athletic patients become understandably frustrated during recovery, but it’s important that you maintain a positive attitude. Sometimes your physical health can benefit from a forced timeout, so bear this in mind and take advantage of this respite by finding new ways to truly relax your body and mind.
6. Practice patience
This last step is critical when recovering from a sports injury. All too often, athletes jump back into their sport of choice before they’re ready, which can lead to re-injury and a much longer recovery haul. One of the best ways to ensure that your healed injury can go the distance is to practice patience during your recovery and resist the urge to push things too quickly. If you let your body heal properly, you’re rewarded with a bright future of active fun.
If you have more questions about recovering from a sports injury, please contact one of our two locations in Fort Lauderdale or Miami, Florida, to set up an appointment.