Chronic injuries typically occur over a prolonged period of time, which is why they often affect people who play sports regularly. When you’re using the same muscles or putting increased pressure on the same areas of your body, it’s not unusual for an injury to develop over time. ,
Although chronic injuries may not be agonizing right away, it is important to treat them as swiftly as possible to prevent further damage or complications to your health. While your doctor will be able to provide bespoke advice and treatment, these tips will help you to be proactive about managing your chronic sports injuries:
1. Recognizing an Injury
If you play sports regularly, there’s a good chance you’ll be used to having some aches and pains. Marathon runners often experience bruised toes and muscle soreness, for example, while contact sports can leave you with bruises and contusions.
Due to this, it’s easy to assume that the first signs of a chronic sports injury are simply part and parcel of your hobby. However, learning to recognize the type of discomfort that’s typical for you – and taking action when it’s different – can help you to identify and treat chronic injuries as quickly as possible.
2. Find Effective Pain Relief
If a chronic injury is causing constant or recurrent pain, you’ll need to find an effective form of pain relief. For some, sporadic doses of NSAIDs are enough to alleviate discomfort, while others find that treatments like ketamine infusion therapy offer the best results. It’s important to be aware that pain relief isn’t a long-term solution to chronic injuries, but it can provide interim relief while the injury heals.
3. Use the RICE Method
The RICE method – rest, ice, compression, and elevation – can be an efficient way to treat both acute and chronic injuries. However, ice treatment isn’t an appropriate option for injuries that affect your nerves, so do make sure it’s safe to use before you begin administering treatment.
4. Take Sufficient Rest Time
For sports and fitness fans, the desire to play or train can make taking rest time particularly challenging but it’s a critical part of your recovery. Chronic injuries are also known as ‘overuse injuries’ because the same part of the body is reacting to repetitive and frequent use. Unless you allow your body to rest, the injury will continue to worsen, and your symptoms may be exacerbated.
5. Check Your Form
In some cases, chronic sports injuries can occur because of poor or improper form. By monitoring your performance, equipment, and form, you can ensure that this isn’t an underlying cause of the injury. If it is, you can implement changes to your technique to reduce the risk of re-injury.
Dealing with a Chronic Injury
If you suspect you’re experiencing a chronic injury, it’s important to seek advice from a medical professional. Then, you can implement appropriate treatments and make adjustments to your lifestyle to maximize your recovery and get back to playing the sport you love as quickly as possible.