Fast recovery from a sports injury

Fast recovery from a sports injury

It is not a question of how to recover from a sports injury, but how to recover as fast as possible. Getting hurt doesn’t mean sitting on the couch all day. Instead, try to take some active steps to support your own & fast recovery.

Break due to an injury can be really frustrating when you are not able to do your favorite workouts for days, weeks, or even months & you feel like all that hard-won progress is going down the drain. However, it is necessary to give your body some time to fully heal from sports injury, through healthy eating, low-impact activities, and a thoughtful plan.

After sustaining a sports injury, most patients are eager to get moving again – whether it is returning to their sport or daily functional activities.

Here are some tips to consider when dealing with a sports injury-

Most sport injuries can be avoided by doing some form of warm-up, consisting of either some cardio or stretching prior to the sport. Soft tissues that have been warmed-up and stretched before activity are far less likely to get injured during the sport.

Also, you can take these basic steps to help prevent a sports injury:

  • Alternate exercising different muscle groups and exercise every other day.
  • Cool down properly after exercise or sports. Cooling down should take twice as long as warm-ups.
  • Develop a fitness plan that includes cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility.
  • Use the right equipment or gear and wear appropriate shoes when playing sports.
  • Rest when tired. Avoid exercise when tired or in pain.
  • Learn the correct techniques for the sport played.
  • Rest, ice, compression, elevation

RICE which stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation is key to treating an acute soft tissue injury. This helps to control the initial inflammation and get the healing process started early.

In the immediate phase of a sport injury, there is swelling, redness and warmth that result in pain. Cold therapy (icing) helps alleviate this while compression with a soft bandage limits swelling. Elevating the injured area is critical even up to first 48 – 72 hours after the injury, as it reduces swelling due to gravity.


  • When you experience an injury, stop your activity immediately and rest as much as possible for the first 2 days.
  • Avoid putting weight on the injured area for 24 – 48 hours.
  • Resting also will prevent any further bruising.


  • Apply an ice pack that is covered with a light, absorbent towel for 15 – 20 minutes every 2 – 3 hours during the first 24 – 48 hours of being injured. The cold is useful to reduce pain and swelling.


  • Wrap the affected area with an elastic medical bandage (not too tight as to interrupt blood flow) to prevent swelling.


Raise the injured body part above the level of your heart. This reduces pain, throbbing, and swelling.

  • Allow healing of the injured body part

An injured body part will struggle to heal if it is repeatedly used after an injury. It is often best to immobilize the injured area with a splint or brace and rest it completely to allow complete healing. Continuing to use the injured body part may aggravate an acute injury and turn it into a chronic one, making it more likely to recur and more difficult to treat.

  • Diagnosis to understand your injury

Minor sprains or tears typically improve significantly after 2 weeks of rest and a break from sport. A thorough clinical examination and imaging tests such as x-rays or scans will confirm the diagnosis and help focus the rehabilitation strategy to enable a faster recovery with limited complications.

  • Early range of motion exercises

Once the initial inflammation has settled, early movements of the joint to restore a full range of movement are critical. This exercise regime is best implemented under the supervision of a specialist or physical therapist that will ensure the appropriate milestones are achieved. A premature return to sport while joint motion is still limited can increase your risk for further injury.

  • Regaining muscle strength

A normal walking pattern means that there is a normal weight transfer from the feet to the knee, hip and back. An abnormal walking pattern could be due to pain, weakness or muscle imbalance, and must be addressed before returning to sports.

A key component of muscle strengthening is resistance training which improves balance, reflex control and endurance in the injured tissues.

  • Foods and supplements
  • Protein-rich foods
  • Vitamin C
  • Omega-3 fats
  • Calcium-rich foods and vitamin D

Physical therapy at SOS PHYSIO Rehab

Fast recovery from a sports injury requires managing the early healing process of the injured area and a having tailored physical therapy rehabilitation strategy. Seeking help and guidance from a physical therapist can make all the difference in recovery time.

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