There’s nothing worse for any athlete or gym goer than that painful moment when you realize you’ve injured yourself.
Whether it’s a sprain, pulled muscle, stress fracture, or torn ligament, sports injuries can be both painful and inconvenient. No one likes to be forced to stop training due to an injury, so is there anything you can do to speed up your recovery?
If you’re wondering how to heal quickly, there are luckily a few things you can do. Read on to learn our top tips for how to recover after a sports injury.
After the right care and treatment, you’ll make a full recovery and can continue to enjoy your favorite sport, pain free.
1. Don’t Be a Hero—Seek Treatment
We often try to ‘just walk it off’ when it comes to a sports injury, powering through the pain. No one wants to admit defeat and see a doctor.
However, if you try to deal with an injury on your own, or ignore it and hope it goes away, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Ignoring an injury can actually cause it to become worse.
Instead, seek treatment from your doctor or sports therapist, and follow whatever they recommend. Although taking a few weeks to rest at home might not be what you want, it’s better than having to rest for several months due to complications from your injury.
2. How to Heal Quickly? RICE and PRICE
Many of us are familiar with the RICE acronym for sprain or injury— rest, ice, compression, and elevation. While this still stands true, many health professionals now use PRICE- with the p added for protection of your injury, such as a sling or splint.
Sports injuries can benefit from the RICE or PRICE method. When at home, rest the injury as much as you can. How to speed up healing? Don’t forget to elevate as well, which reduces swelling and pain.
Over time, you may find that heat feels better on the sore muscle or joint, in which case a hot water bottle or heating pad can be useful.
3. Keep Stretching
Muscle stiffness doesn’t do us any favors when trying to heal. As long as your doctor allows it, try to stretch or do some gentle movement, such as walking, each day.
Gentle yoga stretches help your body recover as well. Try out downward dog, runner’s lunge, cobra, or a seated hamstring stretch while you’re recovering.
With most injuries, you’ll need to ease back into movement and exercise over a few weeks, so simple stretches and walks are a good way to help keep blood flowing and help your muscles stay limber.
4. Try Physical Therapy
For more serious injuries, physical therapy may be the best way to heal injuries.
A trained therapist can create a routine of exercises designed specifically for your injury, which will help you bring back mobility and strength. They can also teach you how to safely perform each stretch and movement, which helps reduce the chance of further injury.
Physical therapy is essential for many injuries common in sports, including ACL tears, joint and ligament injuries, and tennis elbow.
Often, physical therapy is covered by your insurance company, so take advantage of it if you can.
5. Increase Protein Consumption
Protein helps our body rebuild muscle and grow. Whether you’re an athlete looking to become stronger or if you’re trying to recover from an injury, your body will benefit from a nutritious diet with enough protein.
Proteins are naturally found in many foods and are made up of amino acids. They work to repair and rebuild bones, muscle, and cartilage, and they are also a healthy energy source for our bodies.
If you’re wondering how to speed up healing, eating healthy is one of the best ways.
While many people associate protein with meat, there are many great vegan protein sources as well. In addition to lean meats, try to eat a varied diet, including nuts, seeds, legumes, and soy.
6. Use CBD Oil
Cannabis products, such as CBD and CBG, can be a big help to anyone recovering from a sports injury. They are completely natural and have been used for their medical benefits by societies all over the world.
CBD oil or creams are effective in relieving pain from mild sports injuries, helping you get back on the field faster.
It’s also useful for arthritis pain brought on by sports, along with muscle and joint pain. Athletes buy cbd as it’s easy to use and it works well to help ease pain relief.
Always consult your doctor before trying any new supplements of therapies if you have questions.
7. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is restorative for our mind and body, so it shouldn’t be surprising that getting quality sleep can help you recover faster from an injury.
Most of us need at least 7-9 hours of sleep, so make an effort to turn in early and rest while you’re dealing with an injury. When we are asleep, our bodies are able to slow our heart rate and focus on repairing muscles and cells, which we need more than ever after an injury.
In addition to getting, make sure to drink enough water throughout the day. Staying hydrated helps with cell regrowth and keeps our bodies healthy, so try to drink at least 8 glasses, at 8-ounces each, during the day.
Use These Tips to Heal Fast
Although a sports injury can be frustrating, causing a temporary stop to your training, it’s not the end of the world. Use the tips above to learn how to heal quickly, giving your body the rest and recover it needs to bounce back.
With proper care and treatment, you’ll be back at the gym before you know it, enjoying the activities you love.
Did you find this article helpful? If so, please read some of our additional content.