Sports Injuries - part 4
Additional Things You May Do

The vast majority of athletic injuries are treated via the use of standard therapy called RICE therapy; it is a well prepared and thorough first-aid program for the immediate treatment of injuries sustained while involved in physical sports. The expansion of the abbreviation of RICE is given as rest, ice, compression and elevation. During the initial recovery process, taking rest prevents further injury from occurring and at the same time it also promotes the recovery and restoration of health. Because of its analgesic property, ice is also used during treatment, ice also reduces bleeding by its ability of forcing the constriction of the blood vessels, and the lowered temperature in addition soothes the painful inflamed area of the body. Swelling is reduced to an extent by compression and restricted to the affected areas themselves.

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The excess and accumulated body fluids are drained away from the injured areas by elevating the injured area above the plane of the heart which takes advantage of gravity. Diluted in water or in the form of an ointment or as a gel, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) can be used as an external application for topical relief. This compound is a derivative of the resin from certain types of trees, it has found use and is effective against pulled muscles and dislocated joints, DMSO also aids in removing bruises and in relieving the pain felt from sprains and strains following an injury. All kinds of physical trauma afflicting a person, including a wide range of sports injuries which cause swelling and pain can be treated using DMSO. For use in this regard to relieve the pain following injuries, it is advisable not to use the industrial grade solvent. Another equally effective method for use in the treatment of physical trauma is massage therapy, it will aid in the detoxification of the lymphatic system and aid in improving circulation, while helping to bring relief to muscular tension. The stimulation of various meridians of the body are achieved during massage therapy through actions such as kneading, stroking and chopping motions by the masseur, thus this controlled muscular friction over the various zones of the body, stimulates and relaxes the muscles.

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The pain and stress felt during injury is reduced remarkably through massage therapy which has a direct effect on the nervous system, bringing systemic relaxation to the person. Many other alternative therapies such as acupressure, reflexology and shiatsu which are all a form of massage therapy can be included in this general name of massage therapy. Some devices can also aid in the treatment of injured athletes, one of which is known as the Swiss ball, this device is a simple large, inflated, rubber or vinyl ball utilized in the treatment of conditions affecting the regions of spinal region, the muscles of the shoulder and all injuries of the lower back or lumbar region. By forcing the person to use muscles not normally used in conventional exercises, the Swiss ball helps the athlete to recover, the training thus takes place in an unpredictable environment or condition, and many of the stabilizer muscles not normally used by the patient are forced into action and promote the healing and restoration of the individual's health. To bring some relief to back pain, and pain in the neck following injuries and to soothe kinked muscles, many athletes now turn to chiropractic methods of care. This form of care helps adjust and improves the flow of nervous energy through the body, by various adjustments of the vertebrae and the joints, it increases the tolerance of the individual to pain and tension in general.

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The chief objective of chiropractic treatment is the restoration of the mechanical integrity present in the various systems of the body and all of which are clearly associated with movement and physical action in general. Another excellent device for use in the treatment of damaged tissues in the shoulders is the shoulder horn, this simple and easy-to-use molded device acts by isolating and strengthening the damaged muscles following an injury. Many forms of chronic pain in the shoulders and a lot of shoulder injuries are due to a person undertaking heavy bench-presses and overhead pressing exercises usually utilizing a faulty technique. The four rotator cuff muscles infraspinatus, subscapularis, teres minor and teres major in the shoulder are frequently injured during such exercises because of the enormous strain involved during the lifts and movements required. Inflammation of the joints in the shoulder called bursitis results when the fluid-filled sac in which the joint rotates gets inflamed, this fluid filled sac is a friction reducing mechanism in the body.

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Pain following an injury related to sports can also be treated through treatment methods such as acupuncture and IMS. Sports injuries by their very nature are characterized by the presence of pain as the most common symptom; this is because of immediate damage to tissues, and the resulting acute inflammation or chronic functional alterations that occur in the affected region of the body. The affected region of the body becomes very hypersensitive after an injury because of extensive damage to the nervous tissues. By the placement of needles in predetermined positions the technique of acupuncture attempts to correct and change this disharmony, the points into which the needles are inserted are called acupuncture points and stimulating them brings relief from pain. The energy of the body is believed to be linked to these points; these places lie along an invisible system of channels or meridians which have been traditionally plotted out in Chinese medicine. The technique called IMS is a modification of traditional Chinese acupuncture; it is different only in that of the application of the modern science of anatomy and neurophysiology to the treatment methodology. Thus the specifications for IMS requires a medical diagnosis and does not depend on the theory of meridians along the body, needles are still used and these acupuncture needles are used on very specific muscle motor or trigger points along the body, they are inserted along musculotendinous junctions and along paths that muscle spasms may take.

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Other techniques can also alleviate pain following injuries, the healing of broken bones and the enhancement of the body's rate of reaction to injury is carried out through techniques and devices such as magnets and via electromagnetic therapy devices. The body's oxygen transport system is improved and cellular metabolism is improved on the whole using therapy using static or pulsating magnetic fields created by magnets or special electrical machines, the body is forced to respond and alleviation of pain is the result. Limbs affected in their entirety can be treated using padded magnets that can be wrapped around the affected part of the body or the torso as a whole, some techniques require the north pole of the magnet to be placed directly over the wound where it is fastened using an adhesive tape. All these methods traditional or modern alleviate pain and increase the rate of recovery from injury.

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