How did you kick off 2018? At Game Ready, we celebrated the new year by sharing one rehab and recovery tip every day for the entire month of January.
In case you missed it, check out a summary of some of the quick tips we shared that you can build into your refreshed rehab and recovery game plan:
1. Treating A Pulled Back Muscle
What are the recommended treatment steps for a pulled back muscle? The first step should be to apply cold.
The faster you can apply cold to a pulled back muscle, the faster you can help reduce pain, control swelling, and start the healing process. Applying cold immediately after the injury occurs helps ensure that the recovery process goes as quickly as possible.
2. Groin Strain Recovery
How can you accelerate groin strain recovery? Some of the ways you can speed up recovery include:
Rest—Like any injury, if your damaged tissues don’t have a chance to properly heal, the recovery process can ultimately take longer and you run the risk of exacerbating the injury.
Cryotherapy—Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, is a proven method for reducing pain and inflammation in the soft tissues. In fact, the faster you can apply cold to the injured area, the quicker your groin strain recovery is likely to be.
Compression—Applying a compression bandage to the groin area can also help keep swelling to a minimum and reduce pain. Make sure that the bandage is applied in such a way that there is enough compression to have an impact, but not so much that circulation is affected.
3. ACL Surgery Recovery
An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is no laughing matter; sadly, it’s a pretty common injury that often requires reconstructive surgery.
Once you’re out of surgery, you want to get back to normal activity as fast as possible. The best way to do this combines cryotherapy (i.e., cold therapy) with intermittent pneumatic compression delivered via anatomically engineered wraps.
4. Healing a Sprained Wrist
This recovery tip can help you heal a sprained wrist.
To help accelerate the healing process, ice the injury as soon as possible. In addition to icing, immediately applying compression to the wrist can help minimize swelling. Use an elastic bandage to apply consistent pressure to the injured area and adjust the amount of pressure as necessary. Keeping your wrist above the level of your heart will also help limit the amount of swelling, because blood and other fluids will have a harder time getting to the area.
5. Knee Surgery Recovery
To recover quickly from knee surgery, rest, cryotherapy, compression, and maintaining healthy habits like getting good sleep and proper nutrition are key.
6. Forehead Bumps
Forehead bumps are common in adults and children, but do you know if it’s best to apply ice or heat?
The short answer: In the first 24-48 hours, it is more important to reduce swelling with ice. Click the link in our bio to learn how to heal a forehead bump.
7. Hip Flexor Injuries
It can take one to eight weeks for a hip flexor injury to heal, depending on the severity of the injury.
Using a cold therapy system can help reduce inflammation deep in the damaged tissues and relieve hip flexor pain. The addition of active compression also promotes healing for faster recovery.
8. Managing Hip Pain
Did you know that ingredients like aspartame, pepper, paprika, and eggplant can contribute to inflammation? Try avoiding these foods to help manage hip pain.
9. RICE and Ankle Sprains
Ankle sprain recovery tip: Instead of holding an ice pack on your ankle, try a cold therapy system, which uses an anatomically designed wrap that allows cold water and pressurized air to flow through, ensuring circumferential coverage of the area.
10. Fractured Wrist Recovery
Use these five pro tricks to help reduce swelling of a fractured wrist:
1. Cryotherapy—Cold packs are the traditional method for applying cryotherapy to a broken bone. Although this approach is effective, the pros know a better way. Specialized cryotherapy systems come with wraps that deliver consistent cold to the entire area surrounding the injury. Patented technology is used to ensure that the cold water that circulates through the system stays at a consistent temperature. In contrast, ice packs quickly draw heat from your body and get warmer, making them less effective.
2. Active compression—Edema, or excess fluid, contributes to additional swelling if it is allowed to build up. One of the ways to combat this is with the use of compression wraps. You might find static wraps at the pharmacy, but the pros use a more sophisticated active compression system to pump away excess fluid and bring freshly oxygenated blood to the injury for faster healing.
3. Rest—Your body needs energy to heal itself, and the more you can rest, the more resources can be dedicated to tissue repair. Yes, even the pros rest when they are injured, because they know it can ultimately help them get back in the game faster.
4. Elevation—It’s an old trick, but it’s still one that the pros use to reduce swelling. Keeping your arm slightly elevated while resting or sleeping can help prevent excess fluid from building up around the fractured bone.
5. Physical therapy exercises—Your wrist may be immobilized in a splint or cast, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise other parts of the upper extremity. Gently moving your shoulder, elbow, and fingers will help increase circulation, which contributes to faster healing and reduced swelling.
11. Pulled Groin
Combine stretching your groin muscles with strengthening exercises to help treat a pulled groin.
12. Dislocated Shoulder
A dislocated shoulder is a treatable condition that generally does not prevent future activity if it is allowed to properly heal. However, complications can arise when patients make the following common mistakes:
1. Not immobilizing the joint - Immobilization with a sling is necessary after a closed reduction. The angle of the immobilization depends on how many times the shoulder has previously been dislocated, but the most important thing is to keep the shoulder immobilized to help prevent future dislocations.
2. Not going to scheduled doctor visits - After initial treatment, it is important to go to follow-up appointments. The decision to allow movement in the shoulder varies from patient to patient, so do go to scheduled doctor visits, even if you are feeling well.
3. Returning to activity too quickly - Even if you are not experiencing pain, you may still need to keep your shoulder immobilized for a period of time.
4. Forgetting to do physical therapy - When you are allowed to introduce shoulder movements, follow your physical therapist's instructions closely. Too much or too little activity can impede the recovery process.
13. Tip for Treating a Pulled Back at Home
It’s possible to reduce the pain from a pulled muscle with over-the-counter medications, massage, active compression, and cold therapy.
14. Avoid Muscle Strain
Muscle Strain 101: In order to perform safely, muscles should be warmed up before exercise or strenuous activity, especially in colder temperatures. Warm-ups should include movements that gradually increase blood flow to the muscle fibers and controlled stretching that gently elongates them. Without a proper warm-up, muscle fibers are more susceptible to stretching or tearing, resulting in higher risk of a strain.
15. Torn Rotator Cuff
A torn rotator cuff can be both painful and inconvenient, which is why it is so important to get a diagnosis early if you think you may have this injury.
Common symptoms include a dull ache in the shoulder joint, limited range of motion, disturbed sleep, and weakness. Doctors diagnose rotator cuff injuries by palpating the area and doing a series of range-of-motion tests. They sometimes also use scanning equipment to identify damage to soft tissue in the shoulder joint.
Common treatments for a torn rotator cuff include rest, joint immobilization, cold therapy, and physical therapy. In extreme cases, surgery may be recommended.
What will you be doing differently with injury prevention, rehab, and recovery this year?