woman holding calf and ankle sprain after running

First Aid 101: How to Address and Treat Athletic Injuries

Athletic injuries are extremely frequent at all levels of competition and require immediate medical attention.

According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), sports and recreation injuries top roughly 8.6 million annually and are increasing as more American choose to exercise for health and wellness reasons.

Whether it involves school-sanctioned sports, collegiate-level athletics, or professional sports, injuries are likely to happen.

Thankfully, most sports injuries are treatable and not fatal. The APTA estimates that only 2.7 percent of sports injuries require a hospitalization, so patients don’t need to go directly to an emergency room.

But what should a person do if they experience a sports injury or witness a friend/family member experiencing one? The best solutions for getting sports injury treatment start with some basic first aid and simple urgent care treatment options:

First aid can help stabilize an injury before advanced treatment

Common sports injuries including sprains and minor fractures can be stabilized with some basic preventive methods. Healthcare organizations including the Mayo Clinic emphasize the importance of R.I.C.E, an acronym to help individuals begin first aid on a potential sprain:

R – Rest the injured limb. Doctors recommend not putting any weight on an injured part of the body for between 48 to 72 hours. Slowly incorporate physical activity over time as recommended by a doctor or medical professional.

I – Ice the injured limb. A sprain or sports-related injury should be rested for roughly 15 to 20 minutes each hour. Medical experts recommend doing this for 48 hours or until swelling of the injured limb slows down.

C – Compress the injured area with a brace, wrap, or bandage.

E – Elevate the injured limb above the heart when possible to reduce swelling.

R.I.C.E is an effective first aid strategy for most sports injuries before going to a medical provider for treatment. Immediate first aid allows someone to stabilize a sports injury and improve treatment effectiveness for a patient.

Get sports injury treatment at an urgent care center  

Did you know that most urgent care centers offer fast and responsive treatment for sports-related injuries? That means most patients don’t have to wait in the emergency room to get their injuries treated.

Urgent care centers treat a variety of sports-related injuries including sprains, minor fractures, and muscle pain. These centers provide the staff, resources, and treatment options to begin treatment in just a few minutes.

If you, or a family member/friend, requires immediate treatment for a sports injury then visit your nearest Instant Urgent Care center! You can check out our locations here or look for nearby directions!