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6 Tips For Recovering From an Exercise-Related Injury

We're all familiar with the benefits of exercise, but it's important to remember that exercise has its downsides too. If we push ourselves too hard, get sloppy with our form, or even just step the wrong way, the risk of injury is much higher while doing exercise. Exercise-related injuries can keep you out of the gym or off the track for a few days, weeks, or even months. It's important that you know how to recover the right way.

1. PRICE, always. PRICE is an acronym that stands for Pressure, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. The combination of these five things will reduce swelling, decrease the risk of further injury, prevent pain, protect the limb, and speed up healing. Always treat your exercise-related injuries with these things.

2. Immobilize the injured body part. Whether you tweaked your back, sprained your ankle, or pulled a muscle, it's important that you give your body time to repair the damage. If you're constantly moving the injured part, your body will take longer to heal. That's why you wear a brace for your back, a splint for your wrist, or a brace for your ankle. Immobilizing the injured part prevent further damage, and the thing that immobilizes it will also add support and protection to speed up healing.

3. Get the right treatment. If you don't know what the injury is, how are you supposed to treat it? If the injury is more serious than a sprained ankle, it's best to get to the doctor to get the injury diagnosed. The doctor will provide you with a simple course of treatment (including medications) that will help you to heal as quickly as possible.

4. Try physical therapy. Often, injuries occur because the muscles surrounding the injured area were unable to support the weight or impact, thus the connective tissue or bone was damaged. Physical therapy can be a godsend to not only strengthen your muscles but restore proper alignment and mobility to your joints.

5. Eat well. Your body will only be able to make repairs if you give it the fuel it requires. That means you need to make sure to eat a lot of the nutrients needed to deal with the specific injury. For muscle injuries, you need more amino acids. For bone injuries, you need more zinc, calcium, manganese, and phosphorus. For joint injuries, you need foods like salmon, broccoli, and leeks. Nutrition is everything when recovering from an injury.

6. Take it slow. Rest is an important part of PRICE, and it's what will enable your body to make repairs. But even after you think you're healed, you need to be careful not to push yourself too hard. Take it slow your first days back in training, and listen to your body for any complaints, pains, or aches. It's better to rest a few more days than to risk re-injuring yourself by pushing too hard too soon.

These simple tips will make a world of difference as you recover from your injury. Follow the steps above, and you'll be back to working out in no time!

[Image via Shutterstock]

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