Home Care for Sports Injuries

Home Care for Sports Injuries

These recommendations are to be used as a general guideline and are not to take the place of instructions given to you by your healthcare provider.

Prevention

  • Maintain good flexibility.
  • Stay in good physical condition year round.
  • Consult your doctor before starting a diet.
  • Avoid sudden weight gains or losses during preseason and during season.
  • Work on techniques for your sport.
  • Drink plenty of water during summer and fall sports (does not include caffeine products; water is just as good as Gatorade or other sports drinks).
  • Light conditioning during June and July. Harder conditioning during August or prior to sport season.

Strains: Muscle injury, separation of muscle tissue

Goal: Control swelling and maintain flexibility

Treatment first 48 hours: Ice, compression, elevation and gentle stretching.

  • ice: 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours.
  • compression: Ace wrap or compression stocking when walking around. Can loosen while sleeping. Begin wrapping at the end farthest from the heart, working towards the heart.
  • elevation: At least 6-12 inches above horizontal. Limit standing for long periods of time.
  • gentle stretching: This should not be painful, it's just to keep flexibility.

After activity:

  • After practice or a game: ice, gentle stretching and anti-inflammatories as needed.

 

Sprains: Damage to a joint

Goal: control swelling and reduce pain

Treatment first 48 hours: Ice, anti-inflammatory, elevation and compression wrap.

  • ice: 15-20 minutes every 2 hours.
  • anti-inflammatory: Anti-inflammatory drugs include Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn).
  • elevation: At least 6-12 inches above horizontal. Limit standing for long periods of time.
  • compression wrap: ace wrap or compression stocking all the time. It can be loosened while sleeping. Begin wrapping at the end farthest from the heart, working towards the heart.

After activity:

  • After practice or a game: ice, elevation and anti-inflammatories as needed

Concussion: A concussion is a bruise to the brain.

This bruise can get bigger over the first 24-48 hours. Symptoms should be monitored for several days.

See a doctor immediately when:

  • Headache does not go away or gets worse.
  • Vomiting and/or nausea.
  • Blurred vision, unequal or dilated pupils.
  • Bleeding and/or clear fluid from the nose or ears.
  • Restless, irritable or drastic changes in emotional control.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Drowsiness, lethargy or sleepiness.
  • Unsteady gait.
  • Difficulty speaking or slurring of speech.
  • If any symptom lasts more than 24 hours.

Treatment:

  • Out of sports activities until all symptoms are gone for at least 24 hours, preferably decided by a physician.
  • If symptoms return with activity, see doctor.
  • Do not give medication without a doctor's approval first.

Concussions have a building effect. The more often a concussion occurs, the worse they become. Your child does not have to be unconscious to have a concussion.