Treatment for a sports injury will depend onfactors such as how severe the injury is and the part of your body affected.
Some general treatments that may be helpful for your injury are described below. You can also find out about treating specific injuries by clicking on the links at the end of the page.
Minor injuries, such as mild Sprains , can often be initially treated at home using PRICE therapy for two or three days.
PRICE stands for protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation.
Painkillers, such as paracetamol , can be used to help ease the pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) tablets or creams, such as ibuprofen , can also be used to help easeany pain and help to reduce any swelling.
Aspirin should not be given to children under 16 years of age.
Immobilisation can sometimes help toprevent further damage by reducing movement. It can also reduce pain, muscle swelling and muscle spasm.
For example,slings, splints and castsmay be used to immobilise injuredarms, shoulders, wrists and legs while you heal.
If you only have a sprain, prolonged immobilisation is not usually necessary, and you should try gently moving the affected joint as soon as you are able to do so without experiencing significant pain.
Some people recovering from a long-term injurymay benefit from physiotherapy .
This is a specialist treatment that can involve techniques such as massage, manipulation and exercises to improve the range of motion, strengthen the surrounding muscles, and return the normal function of injured area.
Aphysiotherapist can alsodevelop an exercise programme to help strengthen the affected body part and reduce the risk of the injury recurring.
If you have severe or persistent inflammation, a corticosteroid injection may be recommended.
These can help to relieve pain caused by your injury, although for some people the pain relief is minimal or only lasts for a short period of time. If necessary, the injections can be repeated every few months, but care must be taken to avoid side effects, such as thinning of the skin.
Most sports injuries don't require surgery, but very severe injuriessuch as badly broken bones may require corrective surgeryto fix the bones with wires, plates, screws or rods.
In some cases, however, it may be possible realign displaced bones without needing an operation.
Certain other injuries may also occasionally require surgery. For example, an operation may be needed to repair a torn knee ligament.
As movement becomes easier and the pain decreases, stretching and strengthening exercises can be introduced.
Make sure you don't try to do toomuch too quickly, as this can prolong your recovery time. Start by doing frequent repetitions of a few simple exercises, before gradually increasing the amount you do.
In some cases, you may benefit from the help of a professional, such as aphysiotherapist or sports injury specialist, who candesign a suitable recovery programme and advise you about which exercises you should do and the number of repetitions.
Click on the links below for more informationon treatment for specific injuries:
Playing sport and doing regular exercise is good for your health, but can sometimes result in injuries.
Sport injuries can affect almost any part of the body, including the muscles, bones, joints and connective tissues (tendons and ligaments).
Treatment for a sports injury will depend on factors such as how severe the injury is and the part of your body affected.