Sport is one of the most common recreational activities which is associated with numerous benefits to the participating youth. Its benefits include improved cardiovascular fitness, bone and muscle health and reduced risk of obesity. Researchers suggest that youth participation in sports improves social well-being and most importantly their psychological health. Sports and exercise are also often associated with improved academic performance and healthy behaviors. But, participation in sports also comes with the risk of injuries to the athletes. It is important to take these into consideration as youth sports account for substantial morbidity and cost. With intense training, frequent competition and early single sport specialization, injuries and burn-out have become common. It is often seen that the most common type of sports related injuries is due to overuse of a body part when participating in a particular sport. These overuse injuries require lengthy recovery periods and may result in long term health consequences.
The RICE treatment
RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. This process will minimize damage, reduce any swelling, limit inflammation and restore blood flow as soon as possible. However, any injury involving swelling, deformity or any loss of function should be seen by a doctor ASAP.
- The degree of rest depends on the extent of injury
- It is better not to use the injured area for a few days until evaluated by the physician
- Use crutches if there is a limp while walking
- Ice should be applied directly over the injury
- Start icing immediately post an injury. You can continue for 10–20 minutes and repeat every 1–2 hours for the first few days
- Crushed or cubed ice, frozen peas all have the same effect
- Do not sleep with ice on the injured area
- Use a compression bandage or stocking when possible to minimize any bleeding or swelling
- Start wrapping from the bottom of the injured area and move upwards
- It is best to leave toes and fingers exposed
- Do not apply compression too tightly
- Look for numbness and discoloration, and loosen appropriately
- Do not sleep with the wrap
- When possible elevate the injured area above the level of the heart. This way it is easier for any swelling to escape
Although, being in sports is associated with physical risks it is ideal to prevent these injuries. The most potential ways of prevention are pre-season physical exams, readily available medical services, appropriate coaching, adequate hydration and proper equipment.
The doctors at Texas Medical Concierge are readily available to diagnose and treat all sport-related injuries of youth and adolescent athletes. Our primary and only focus is to return these hurt athletes to their sport safely and quickly. Contact www.texasmedicalconcierge.com to know about our services.