Preventing injuries before they happen is ideal. When injuries do
occur, it is important for you to know how to address an injury
or illness. This section will educate you on reducing the risk of
injuries and how to respond if an injury does occur.
There are four simple ways to help reduce the risk of
injury in an athlete:
- Have an annual physical before you participate in sports
- Engage in proper conditioning before you participate in
- Make sure you are getting proper nutrition
- Warm up and cool down to allow your body to adjust
There are six common athletic injuries that
- Sprains involving your ligaments
- Strains involving your muscles and tendons
- Tendonitis caused by overuse
- Bursitis, inflammation of the bursa sac that is located
between your tendon and your skin or possibly your tendon and
It is important that you identify and treat athletic injuries at
the onset. With proper intervention, you can control and reduce
pain, swelling, and loss of motion and loss of function to the
injured area. Also, never ignore an injury. A good rule of thumb
to remember is all injuries have pain, but not all pain can be
considered an injury.
We have provided you with a catchy phrase, PRICE, to remind
you of how to care for your acute athletic injuries:
P - Protect the athlete's body part from further
injury by taping, bracing, splinting or immobilizing
R - Rest the injured area by discontinuing
painful activity or exercise
I - Ice the injured area with an elastic wrap or
bandage from below the injury up toward the heart. Wrap it tight
enough to control the swelling without cutting off circulation.
C - Compress the affected area by using an ace
bandage to wrap the area from the farthest point to a point
closer to the center of the body. Wrap it tight enough to control
swelling but not cut off circulation.
E - Elevate the injured area to a level above
the heart. This will help blood flow away from the injured site.
At night, elevate the injured area with pillows.
If you have sustained an injury, it is important to know when to
see a physician. Although every injury situation is different,
you should call your physician if you are not able to withstand
the pain or your movement of the affected area is limited. Also,
if pain and swelling lasts a few days without getting better or
other issues arise, you should see a physician for an evaluation.