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How to Suffer Less When You Have a Sport Injury

Woman tying her running shoes

How to suffer less when you have a sport injury 

Sports injuries are the worst. Not only is your game impacted, but your everyday activities can be thwarted as well. All you want is to get back to normal as quickly as possible. We get it. Fortunately, our team’s available to help. At Ottawa-Carleton Physiotherapy, getting you up to full speed quickly and safely is our objective.

First things first

You need to go on hiatus immediately. If you think you can just soldier on through the next game or practice, think again. You need to stop. Sport related injuries require you to listen to what your body’s telling you. If it hurts, don’t do it. Trying to push through can result in much more severe and longer lasting damage.

Use the RICE principle to effectively manage you injury

  • Rest. Ice. Compression. and Elevation. This strategy is the most effective for dealing with your injury. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Rest means reducing all your daily physical activities. It also indicates that adequate sleep is a necessity. Your body will heal more quickly if you take it easy, especially for the first 48 hours.

  • Ice indicates that you should apply cold compresses to the affected area every two to three hours during the day for about 20 minutes each time.

  • Compression means putting even pressure on the injury to help reduce swelling. Depending on the injury this could involve an elastic bandage, a splint or a cast. Speak with your doctor to determine the best strategy.

  • Elevation indicates that you should keep the affected area raised to about heart level, especially if it’s a leg or arm. Use a pillow or two to prop up the injury.

When to seek medical attention

In the event of severe pain, swelling or numbness get yourself to a doctor ASAP. Extreme discoloration or a joint that seems instable or abnormal should also be examined. Not being able to tolerate weight in the area is another indication you should visit a physician.


Effective rehab is all about striking a balance between rest and exercise to hasten the healing process. In Ottawa, physiotherapy is a great way to get the guidance you need to develop and implement a graduated exercise program. The best time to begin is about two to three days after the injury occurs. Early mobilization is best for heightened results, as long as caution is taken to avoid painful movements.

Other therapies that can aid your recovery

At Ottawa-Carleton Physiotherapy, we offer a range of services that can help you quicken your return to peak performance levels. Besides physio, the two we frequently recommend for sport injuries are shockwave therapy and massage therapy. Either or both at our Ottawa clinic can accelerate your progress. Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment.


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