“I have a sports injury”

Sports injuries are caused by overuse, direct impact, or the application of force that is greater than the body part can structurally withstand. Common injuries include bruises, sprains, strains, joint injuries and nose bleeds. Treatment depends on the type and severity of the injury.

First aid is crucial in the management of any sports injury, and may involve for example; a mild sprain or other minor muscle or ligament damage, use of 'RICEtherapy

RICE stands for:

  • Rest – avoid regular exercise and reduce your daily physical activity. Using crutches or a walking stick may help if you cannot put weight on your ankle or knee.
  • Ice – apply an ice pack to the affected area for 10–30 minutes. A bag of frozen peas, or similar, will work well. Wrap the ice pack in a towel to avoid it directly touching your skin and causing ice burn.
  • Compression – use elastic compression bandages to limit swelling.
  • Elevation – keep the injured leg, knee, arm, elbow or wrist raised above the level of the heart. This may also help to reduce swelling.

After 48 hours of RICE therapy, stop compression and try moving the injured area. If, after this time, your symptoms are worse, seek advice from your GP.

RICE therapy can be useful for any sports injury, but some injuries may require additional treatment.

Depending on the type of injury, the recovery process, and length of recovery, physiotherapy services may be appropriate for you. Physiotherapy involves using massage, manipulation and special exercises to improve the range of motion and return the function of injured areas to normal. For example, people who are recovering from a long-term injury may benefit from a programme of walking and swimming to help strengthen the muscles in the affected body part, in which the program may be developed by a physiotherapist.

Massage may also be an appropriate method  of speeding up the recovery process. Supporters of massage argue that it helps in two main ways:

  • It encourages the flow of blood into the affected body part and the nutrients in blood can help repair any damaged tissue.
  • It increases flexibility in the affected body part.

Massage is not recommended if you have a serious soft-tissue injury, such as a torn ligament, as it could make the injury worse. Despite being a very popular treatment, there is little hard evidence that massage is effective in aiding recovery. However, it can reduce stress levels and make you feel more relaxed, which may be important benefits themselves.

Heat and ultrasound therapies are also sometimes recommended. Some sport therapists argue that using heat therapy (heat pads or lamps) and ultrasound therapy (high-energy sound waves) may work in a similar way to massage by stimulating blood flow to the affected body part. However, as with massage, the evidence for the effectiveness of both these treatments is not conclusive. There is evidence that ultrasound can help improve flexibility in damaged joints, but this may not necessarily always be a good thing. If a damaged joint is moved too far before it has fully healed, it could lead to further damage. Ultrasound also seems to speed up the healing process of fractured bones. However, there is little evidence that it speeds up the healing process in other types of sports injury. Heat treatment seems to help relieve pain, but there is little evidence that it can speed up the healing process. Heat may also increase inflammation and joint damage if it is applied within 48 hours of the injury occuring.

Most sports injuries do not require surgery. However, very severe injuries, such as a torn ligament or badly broken bones, may require corrective surgery.

Rehabilitation is an important part of treating sports injuries. A rehabilitation programme aims to return the injured body part to normal function by gradually introducing it to movement and exercise.

With most sports injuries, it helps to move the injured part as soon as possible to help speed up the healing process. Gentle exercises should help improve the area’s range of motion. As movement becomes easier and the pain decreases, stretching and strengthening exercises can be introduced. During the rehabilitation process, you should not attempt to do too much too quickly. Start by doing frequent repetitions of a few simple exercises before gradually increasing the amount that you do. Avoid painful activities and do not return to your sport until you have no pain, and full strength and flexibility have returned to the injured area.

A healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist or sports injury specialist, can help you design a suitable rehabilitation programme and advise you about which exercises you should do and the number of repetitions. 

Our staff at Hatton and Laws may be able to assist you with appropriate first aid of a sports injury, or appropriate wound care in the event of a graze, bump or bruise. Use of any anti-inflammatory should only be used after 48 hours after the initial injury, and ensuring that any application of a topical cream or rub, should not be applied to a deep tissue injury.

Please contact us should you require any further assistance.

Some products that may be able to help include use of our compounding service for a strong anti-inflammatory/analgesic/anaesthetic cream prescribed by your doctor, Pindari Aches and Pains Cream, Pindari Magnesium Plus, and Sciatica Drops


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