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How To Self-Treat Minor Sports Injuries 
by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy September 24, 2005

You don't have to be a major league athlete or a super star to suffer minor sports injuries.  Although sports injuries such as strains, sprains, pulled muscles, bruises, torn ligaments and wounds can be painful, most don't require professional attention.  In fact, most minor sports injuries are best treated at home with a few simple guidelines.

First Aid

First, don't panic.  Although the injury may hurt, it probably isn't serious.

Use ice, not heat to treat.  Ice can reduce bleeding and swelling while heat can't.  Apply an ice pack to the afflicted area and relax.

Remember R-I-C-E.  The letters stand for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, all vital parts of appropriate treatment for most sports inflicted injuries.

Treat cuts with care.  Clean with warm water and apply an anti-bacterial cream.  Cover if necessary and watch for any signs that may indicate infection.  Signs include warmth, redness, or pus discharge.  If any of these are present a few days after the injury, seek medical care.

Continue Care

Apply home treatment and be easy on the injured area for a few days.  Pay attention to any signs that could indicate a more serious injury or further inflammation.

If the injury doesn't improve or respond to treatment within a few days, call the doctor.


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