The Physio's Guide on RICE and Sports Injuries
Updated: Sep 22
At Falcon Health we provide a wide array of physiotherapy and chiropractic treatments for those suffering from sports injuries. We deal with a wide range of sporting injuries and can develop a bespoke care plan to help you in your recovery. However, whilst the physio can help you with recovery, there are ways in which you must look after your injury yourself. In today's article, we will discuss how seeing the physio or chiro can help you with your sports injury, but importantly, we will discuss the best ways to care for it yourself in conjunction with treatment.
How The Physio Can Help with Sports Injuries
Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession that works to restore movement and function in the body. Physiotherapists help people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice.
If you have sustained a sports injury, physiotherapy can help you to recover and return to your sport as quickly and safely as possible. The physiotherapist will carry out a thorough assessment of your injury and the surrounding area. They will then design a bespoke treatment plan to help you recover. This may include:
Manual Therapy: This involves the use of the hands to treat the injured area. The therapist may use massage, manipulation or mobilisation techniques.
Exercise: The physiotherapist will prescribe specific exercises to help you regain movement in the injured area and strengthen the surrounding muscles.
Education: The physiotherapist will provide you with advice on how to prevent further injuries and manage your pain.
These tend to be the most common treatments that the physio will provide you with, however, there are many more available. Feel free to explore our treatments or contact us to learn more. Additionally, if you are struggling to cope with a sports injury, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to help you.
How The Chiropractor Can Treat Sports Injuries
Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. They often treat patients with sports injuries, as well as those who have suffered an injury due to a car accident or other type of trauma.
Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to treat sports injuries, including:
Spinal manipulation: This is the most common treatment used by chiropractors. It involves applying pressure to the spine to realign the vertebrae. This can help to strengthen the spine, as well as help muscles as messages sent via the nervous system reach the muscles quickly.
Massage: Chiropractors may use massage therapy to help relax the muscles and reduce inflammation. They may also utilise this on joints to enhance their range of movement and flexibility.
Rehabilitation: Chiropractors may also recommend exercises and stretches to help the patient recover from their injury. These exercises will help to strengthen the muscles and improve flexibility.
Whilst chiropractic care for sports injuries tends to be less common, it can still be very effective. Explore our chiropractic treatments, or contact us to learn more.
Dealing with Sports Injuries Yourself
When you experience an injury, your next actions depend on the severity. If you experience a severe injury, such as a fracture, you must go straight to A&E. However, if you have experienced a strain or sprain, there are ways to reduce its effect. We often recommend that you visit the physio or chiropractor, however, it is unlikely that you'll be able to do this immediately after getting injured.
There are 4 key steps to consider here: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (RICE). These steps must be followed after experiencing a muscular injury.
It is important that you rest the injured area to allow it to heal. This means avoiding any activities or exercises that may aggravate the injury. This allows your body and the affected area to begin to heal and ensures that it is not damaged through exercise.
Apply an ice pack to the injured area for 15-20 minutes every few hours. This will help to reduce the swelling and pain. It is important to do this as it prevents too much blood from flowing to the affected area and therefore reduces swelling and bruising. This is important as it allows for the physio or chiropractor to perform an effective diagnosis and treatment, unhindered by swelling.
Use a compression bandage to support the injured area and help reduce the swelling. Much like icing, this reduces the blood flow to the area and reduces the amount of fluid around the injury, helping the physio, chiropractor or another healthcare professional in performing the treatment. Furthermore, it helps the area recover as it ensures fluid is removed from the injury site. This is important because it helps the injured area to heal properly without obstructions.
Raise the injured area above the level of your heart to help reduce the swelling. This is important because it prevents too much blood from flowing to the affected area and therefore reduces swelling and bruising. As mentioned above, it is important to keep the area clear of fluid as it helps with treatment from the physio or chiropractor and enhances the rate and degree of recovery.
If you need to see the physio or chiropractor, then Falcon Health is here to help. Our experienced physiotherapists and chiropractors are qualified to provide treatment for a wide variety of sporting injuries. We can work closely with you to develop a bespoke care plan to suit your requirements. Furthermore, our specialist Sports Therapist, Katie, can provide high-quality, sport-specific treatment to support your recovery and get you back to your best. This service is available for athletes of any level, so do not hesitate to contact us if you need to see the physio or chiropractor.
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