Treating a sports injury

You can usually treat minor injuries yourself by:

resting the affected body part for the first 48-72 hours to prevent further damage

regularly applying an ice pack to the affected area during the first 48-72 hours to reduce swelling

using over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to relieve pain

If your symptoms are severe or don’t start to get better within a few days or weeks, your GP may be able to refer you for specialist treatment and support, such as physiotherapy.

Particularly serious injuries will occasionally require a procedure or operation to align any misplaced bones, fix any broken bones, or repair any torn ligaments.

Depending on the type of injury you have, it can take a few weeks or months to make a full recovery. While you recover, it’s important not to do too much too fast – aim to increase your level of activity gradually over time.

Preventing the most common sports injuries

Sometimes preventing common sports injuries is beyond our control, but many times sports injuries are preventable. “Some injuries,” Roberts says, “we bring on ourselves because we’re not conditioned for the activity.” His advice: “Work out daily and get double benefit — enjoy your weekend activities and garner the health benefits.”