We've updated our Privacy Policy.
The Sports Fan’s Interactive Toolbox | On the Clock Premium

Natural Ways to Recover from Injury and Ease Discomfort for Athletes

Steve Shoup

For athletes, besides from losing the game, getting injured is the worst thing to happen.

No athlete would love to sit on the bleachers until the end of the game without doing anything for the team, right? But this is unavoidable when you’re injured. Fortunately, there are natural ways to recover faster from injuries and to ease discomfort.

Whatever the extent of injury, it’s a must to take action right away. Being vigilant when it comes to these injuries can help to avoid further harm.

Understanding Injuries

It’s said that athletes playing Football face the greatest risk of getting injured. In a study involving Italian footballers, it was revealed that their chances of developing an injury is around 57%. Obviously, that’s quite high.

Looking at the factors associated with getting an injury can help us come up with better ways to prevent and treat them.

  • Muscle Imbalance

When one of your muscles is stronger than the other, it’s likely that you have muscle imbalance. This can lead to severe injury due to its tendency to influence the position of a joint during its rest state, and change the path of this joint during movement.

One of the causes of muscle imbalance is repetitive motion. Muscles, for some reason, generate force when they are shortened. And if this happens repeatedly, muscles can become overused and can continually stay in a semi-contraction state.

Tennis elbow, thrower’s shoulder, and golfer’s knee are some injuries that you can get from repetitive motions.

  • Fatigue

There are two types of fatigue, mental and physical. However, physical fatigue, especially on the muscle, is riskier when it comes to getting an injury. When the muscles become exhausted from prolonged exertion, impairment in coordination, postural stability, acceleration, and control of limb velocity can occur.

  • Dehydration

Although dehydration doesn’t directly cause injuries, it can trigger muscle cramps. Lack of sodium and potassium due to poor hydration can lead to severe injury.

  • Previous Injury

Overuse injuries are those you get when a previous injury resurfaces. This usually happens to those who have recently recovered from injury and hastily try to reach the same intensity they had before getting injured.

If you’ve been injured, you will first observe a slight inflammation on the affected area for about five days. However, if the bone is affected, this inflammation will linger for up to three more weeks.

This inflammatory phase is followed by the proliferative phase, where damaged tissues begin to undergo repair. The remodeling phase is the final and longest part of injury recovery. Tissues lost due to injury are replaced with new ones that are equally sturdy and functionally identical.

Hasten Recovery, Ease Pain

As you would expect, rushing through these phases by overexerting yourself only increases your chances of getting reinjured (or failing to recover fully). There are better ways of speeding things up as well as reducing your discomfort.

  • Go for Protein and Vitamin C

Foods rich in protein and vitamin C can lessen the inflammation on the injured area of the body, which in turn helps to speed up recovery.

Try adding protein-rich foods like tofu, nuts, peas, beans, and fish to your diet. Vitamin C is an antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It isn’t hard to get enough of the vitamin—a cup of kiwifruit, for example, contains almost 300 percent of the daily value (DV).

  • Get enough Flavonoids

This refers to the pigment that comes from plants and is responsible for the vibrant colors of many types of flowers and fruits. This pigment has anti-inflammatory properties and is effective in making collagen structures stronger.

Collagen is one of the most important proteins inside our tendons. If the body has a good level of collagen, the inflammation on the injured area will be decreased. Some of the great sources of flavonoids are grape seed, pine bark, and Arnica flowers.

  • Take Epsom Salt Baths

The use of Epsom salt in bathing is equivalent to a 45-minute deep tissue massage. It can relax the body, increase blood flow, and help the nerves and muscles function properly.

  • Make use of Cold and Heat

Ease the pain by applying a cold pack or an ice pack on the injured area. This is ideal in the first 24 hours after the injury happened.

Afterwards, you should consider applying heat (but only in short periods). This activates the body’s heat shock proteins (HSPs), ensuring that recovery proceeds in an anatomically correct manner.

  • Supplement with Omega-3s

You should be able to get enough Omega-3 fatty acids simply by eating fish, but it might be more convenient to go the supplementation route. Omega-3s, such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), are proven to relieve inflammation.

  • Consider Kratom

This miraculous herb is not just limited to its mood-lifting and focus-enhancing effects, as it can also relieve pain. Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a plant related to coffee that contains alkaloids (such as mitragynine) that have a similar effect to morphine in relieving pain.

It’s quite amazing, especially since unlike morphine, kratom isn’t likely to cause addiction or any side effects. Choose a kratom strain based on your needs and follow the recommended dosage for it.

If you want something with good analgesic capacity without affecting your energy levels that much, you should look into Malaysian strains. Also, don’t forget to learn about natural potentiators such as grapefruit to get the most of each dose.

Towards Total Recovery

These natural ways can be very effective in hastening your recovery, alongside with easing the discomfort associated with the various phases of injury progression. Still, you shouldn’t rush through things just to get back into action.

While the time wasted from sitting on the bleachers can be shortened through these means, be sure to work closely with your doctor and therapist throughout the entire process—doing this is your best chance of achieving total recovery and having a triumphant return.

 

 



comments powered by Disqus