For the first couple of days after any serious sports injury, the athlete needs rest. Thereafter, the injured person should start with physiotherapy. Physiotherapy has many benefits such as reducing pain faster, aiding in strengthening of the injured area through exercises, helping to reduce the formation of scar tissue and to help improve athletic performance when the athlete returns to the sports field. Physiotherapy will also assist an injured athlete to return to playing sport earlier than they would have without physiotherapy. Should an injured player not go through this rehabilitation process, they may suffer long-term consequences, such as having a recurring injury, or the injury not healing and the athlete suffering continuous pain.
During the healing process, the injured athlete should look at common causes of sports injuries and try to avoid these. A few causes of sports injuries are structural defects in the body, weak ligaments, tendons and muscles, and an athlete training in unsafe environments. Structural defects of the body cannot be prevented, but can be strengthened through physiotherapy. The most common cause of injury is poor exercising and training methods. These poor training methods can easily be improved to reduce injury. After a workout, muscles need at least two days to fully recover. Pain should never be ignored as it can be a warning of a potential injury.
Illustration: Sally Hartzenberg