Sports and injuries go hand in hand, especially in case of sports which demand rigorous training. Players associated with sports such as soccer, basketball, hockey, tennis, rugby, and other ball games face a very high risk of injuries ranging from mild sprains and strains to serious head injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, around 3.5 million children and adolescent players get injured every year. Treating the injured area with ice pack and compression immediately after getting your tendon, ligament, or muscle injured, prevents further swelling and eases pain. With rising number of sports injuries, compression bandages are increasing in demand which has propelled the global compression therapy devices market.
R.I.C.E. Therapy: First Aid to Sports Injuries
R.I.C.E. is a commonly used acronym among the sports trainers and athletes which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. During muscle strains such as hamstring pull caused by muscle tightness, muscle imbalance, and poor conditioning, R.I.C.E. is the protocol to be followed within the first 48 hours of the injury.
Rest: It is the most effective way to initiate the healing process. A muscle strain is vulnerable to further injury during the initial few hours.
Ice: Applying ice to the area of injury helps to prevent swelling by decreasing blood flow to the area. An ice pack on soft tissue injuries helps to reduce the bleeding in the tissues and muscle spasms. It is usually recommended to put ice on the affected area around 5 minutes after the injury.
Experts mention that heat treatments should be never used on a fresh injury as it worsens the bleeding. Heat treatment should be started only 48 hours after an injury.
Compression: Compression treatment involves bandaging the swollen area with a compression bandage. Compression is a key component in reducing the pain. Along with cold ice treatments, compression is done to reduce swelling. However, the bandage wrap should not be too tight to cause discomfort or interfere with the blood flow.
Elevation: If the player complains of muscle sprain in legs, elevating his leg at a 45-degree angle will reduce bruising to the area. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin also helps to manage such pain and swelling.
Compression Garments: Managing Injury to Improving Muscular Power of Players
Compression wraps and bandages are most commonly used to treat sports injuries. In the past few years, compression garments have become increasingly popular among the athletes owing to their suggested benefits such as improvement in the muscular power and injury management. Though there has been comparatively lesser research related to the advantages of compression garments, recent studies have shown that compression garments may provide ergogenic benefits to the athletes. Some of the suggested benefits of compression garments are:
Enhancing warm-up through increasing temperature of the skin.
Enhancing blood circulation to the peripheral limbs.
Reducing the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness after rigorous exercise.
Experts caution that though compression garments may offer a number of benefits, players need to choose the correct compression garments for their sports and ensure that the garments provide enough pressure to promote venous return.