Living an active life is great, but it can have consequences, too. According to cedaorthopedicgroup.com, injuries can occur on the sports field, at the gym, or at work due to the repetitive strain placed on a joint or a muscle.
What is the RICE Method?
If you have experienced a type of strain or sprain, the doctor may recommend the RICE method as one of the first treatments. The RICE method includes the following steps:
Rest: Stop the activity and rest for the next two days. By resting, you will also prevent further damage. Avoid putting weight on the injured area for about 24 to 48 hours.
Ice: Apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes every two to three hours during the first 24 to 48 hours after being injured. Ice will reduce inflammation, swelling, and bleeding.
Compression: Wrap up the injured area so you can prevent swelling. Use an elastic medical bandage, such as an ACE bandage, but if your symptoms do not disappear, seek medical help right away.
Elevation: Try to raise the sore body part above the level of your heart to reduce swelling, pain, and throbbing. As advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should keep the injured area raised whenever possible.
In addition to the RICE method, doctors may recommend using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen. However, before taking these medications, discuss them with your doctor.
The Most Common Exercise Injuries
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), bicycling accounted for 426,000 injuries in 2020, the most of any sports or recreational activity. Bicycling is followed by exercise (with or without equipment) with about 378,000 injuries. When it comes to workout injuries, the most common are:
- Muscle pulls and strains
- Shoulder injuries
- Sprained ankles
- Knee injuries
- Shin splints
- Wrist sprain or dislocation
How To Prevent Injuries During Training
Injuries can be classified into two categories: Traumatic and cumulative. Traumatic injuries occur suddenly, while cumulative injuries result from repetitive movements, poor posture, or improper training techniques. To avoid injuries during your workout, consider the following steps:
Warm-up and Cool-down
Every exercise should start with a warm-up and end with a cool down. Warming up helps your body get ready for a workout while gradually increasing your heart rate and loosening your joints and muscles. You can warm up by jogging in place for 5 to 10 minutes, jumping rope for 5 minutes, or riding an exercise bike for 5 to 10 minutes.
A cool down will lower your heart rate to normal. When finishing a training session, consider walking for 5 to 10 minutes.
Before and after working out, do some dynamic stretching, which helps increase flexibility. It is advised to stretch after you warm up and cool down to prevent injuries. Then start your exercise routine slowly and moderately build up the duration, intensity, and frequency.
You can vary your workout by running on day one, swimming on day two, or lifting weights on day three. Do not stick to one set of exercises, but vary your workout as much as possible. If you repeat the same muscle movements too often, they can lead you to injuries such as tendinitis or shin splints.
Drink water before, during, and after your exercises. Start by drinking 17 to 20 ounces of water about 2 or 3 hours before exercising, and:
- 8 ounces about 20 to 30 minutes before your workout
- 8 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes during your exercises
- 8 ounces within a half-hour of when your exercising is complete
If you have suffered injuries from your workout and are pain-free for more than a week, start exercising slowly. It may take up to three weeks of regular exercise to get back to your pre-injury exercise level.
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