Australians have a love for the outdoors and their sports.  While this generally results in a healthier lifestyle, it also results in the occasional musculoskeletal injury.  Common injuries include:
 
       > Muscle strains
       > Contusion injuries (“corks”)
       > Ligament sprains
       > Joint injuries
       > Over-use injuries
 
There are a number of ways you can minimise the risk of sustaining injuries.  These include:
 
       > Perform warm-up and cool down exercises
       > Learn correct technique for your sport, e.g. swimming stroke
       > Use protective equipment specific to your sport, e.g. shin pads in soccer
       > Wear braces or strapping
       > Maintain good fitness, strength and flexibility
 
Remember, you should not play sport to get fit, you should get fit to play sport.
 
As physiotherapists, we specialise in sports injury management and rehabilitation, however there are a few simple steps you can perform to minimise your recovery time.
 
The initial management of soft tissue injuries, i.e. the first 3 days, includes:
 

DO:

       Rest: minimise movement of the injured area

       Ice: for 20 minutes every 2 hours

       Compression: wrap injured area with an elastic bandage

       Elevation: injured area to above the level of your heart

 

(These minimise swelling and bleeding)

 

DO NOT:

       Heat: including heat rubs, hot baths etc

       Alcoholof any kind

       Running: or any unnecessary activity

       Massage: not even a “light” rub

 

(These increase swelling and bleeding)