A basketball player is running down the court when his man crosses him over and he rolls his ankle leaving his foot behind as the rest of his body moves in the direction of the basket. The trainer rushes over to assist as the player isn’t getting up due to the severe pain.
The softball playoffs are in full swing and a player is in the bottom of the last inning as she comes up to bat. She battles throughout the at-bat to get to a three and two count. The pitcher winds up and hurls the ball that ends up pegging the batter in the leg causing immediate pain. As the girl limps her way down to first base, she must have a pinch runner to come in for her in order for the school’s trainer to take a look at the leg.
Ankle sprains, soreness and bruising are examples of common injuries from playing a sport. The recovery process for an athlete after games and practices filled with nicks and bruises takes both time and plenty of patience.
Wa-Hi’s Certified Athletic Trainer Chris Eastep recommends ice on sprains and bruises immediately after the accident. “Watch out for gel packs as they may cause frost bite. Water ice is the safest and most effective,” Eastep said.
Pills like ibuprofen or aspirin might be a temptation when treating an injury, but caution is advised here. “Aspirin is out for athletes because it is also an anticoagulant or a blood thinner. Tylenol isn’t an anti-inflammatory, but it is useful as a headache medication,” Eastep said.
According to information from WebMD, protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation (known as the PRICE formula) can help affected muscles. They suggest removing all constrictive clothing, including jewelry, in the area of muscle strain.
Then, WebMD follows the PRICE formula: protect the strained muscle from further injury; rest the strained muscle, avoiding activities that caused the strain and other activities that are painful; ice the muscle area (20 minutes every hour while awake); compress gently with an Ace bandage or other elastic bandage, which can supply support and decrease swelling (disclaimer: do not wrap tightly); and elevate the injured area to decrease swelling.
WebMD also suggests ways to prevent muscle strains: by daily stretching, stretching every time before exercising, establishing a warm-up routine prior to engaging in any strenuous activity, and checking with a doctor before starting any new strenuous exercise program. To participate in a sport at high school, a physical is required every two years from a doctor.
When out there conditioning during practice, playing a sport or just getting a productive workout in, the body’s muscles need to recover.