First Aid for Sport: 9 Effective Relief Tips

Were you aware of the fact that over 3.5 million sports injuries occur every year in the United States? Oh yes, it’s true. Given that people take up sports for their passion or enjoyment, it’s important to also keep this number in mind and educate ourselves on how to take care of such sports injuries.

A sports injury takes place when someone plays a sport or engages in exercise, damaging a part of their body. While such injuries are particularly common in children, adults experience them as well.

There are certain people who are especially at risk of sports injuries, including:

  • People who are out of shape.
  • People who frequently partake in contact sports that involve collisions or tackling.
  • People who don’t put on proper protective equipment.
  • People who indulge in workouts without warming up and cooling down.
  • People who participate in physical activities that involve running, jumping, pivoting, and so on.

Sports injuries can either be chronic, where they develop with time, or acute, where they are sudden.

Are you wondering how you can help someone who suffers from a sports injury? That’s exactly what we will be exploring today.

In this article, we will be getting into the symptoms and causes of sports injuries, the first aid involved in such injuries, their diagnosis and treatment, and how to treat sports injuries.

Symptoms of Sports Injuries

The symptoms of a sports injury depend on the type of injury. Some of the common signs and symptoms are as follows:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Weakness or stiffness
  • Tenderness, pain, or ache
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Skin being warm to the touch
  • Being unable to bear weight on the foot, leg, or hip
  • Deformity, such as a joint or bone being out of place
  • Popping, clicking, cracking, or grinding noise
  • Having trouble with moving a body part normally

Causes of Sports Injuries

The cause of a sports injury can be varied, with some of the examples being:

  • Accidents, such as falls.
  • Wearing shoes that don’t provide adequate support or don’t fit properly.
  • Not having good exercise habits, such as not stretching enough or forgetting to warm up.
  • Starting an exercise regimen or resorting to physical activity all of a sudden when your body isn’t accustomed to it.
  • Not wearing proper safety equipment or wearing it incorrectly or wearing damaged gear.

First Aid for Sport Injuries

If you or someone else happens to suffer from joint injuries, strains, or sprains, here are the first aid steps you must follow:

  1. Rest the injured area and keep it supported. Make sure not to use the injured region for 48 to 72 hours.
  2. Take some ice and apply it to the injured region every two hours for 20 minutes for the first 48 to 72 hours.
  3. In order to keep the injured area compressed, apply a firm elastic bandage over it and ensure it extends above and below the site of injury.
  4. Keep the injured area elevated and above the victim’s heart level at all times.
  5. Rush the victim to the doctor as soon as possible.
  6. Remember to not give any heat to the injured area as it can cause further bleeding.
  7. Don’t rub any alcohol on the site of injury, as it could amplify the swelling and bleeding.
  8. Don’t go running while you’re still healing from a sports injury, as this activity will delay the healing period by increasing blood flow.
  9. Don’t massage the area of the injury since massaging it can cause more swelling and bleeding, thereby delaying the healing process.

How are Sports Injuries Diagnosed?

When you go to a doctor with a sports injury, they will first conduct a physical examination and ask you questions regarding how you got injured and the symptoms you have been experiencing.

Depending on the type of injury and its severity, they could recommend different tests. These could include an X-ray, an MRI scan, or a CT scan. The images provided by these tests will help the doctor determine how to proceed.

How are Sports Injuries Treated?

The severity and type of sports injury determine the kind of treatment a patient should receive. When a sports injury is serious, the treatment methods could involve:

  • Injections to deal with the pain and swelling.
  • Surgery to treat fractures or repair cartilage, tendon, or ligament tears.
  • Prescribing anti-inflammatory medicines.
  • Immobilization with the help of a sling, splint, cast, or other medical devices.
  • Physical therapy to strengthen and heal the injured areas.

How to Prevent Sports Injuries

Listed below are the tips to remember in order to prevent sports injuries:

  • Go for activities and sports that are not too dangerous. Stay away from the ones that expose you to frequent tackles and collisions.
  • Before you engage in an exercise or sport, make sure to learn the proper techniques before implementing them.
  • Don’t indulge in the same sport or physical activity throughout the year. This is particularly applicable to kids.
  • If you believe your body is asking you to rest, do listen to it instead of pushing your boundaries.
  • Before and after any workout, make sure to stretch. Warm up prior to a workout and cool down after one.
  • Proper safety gear and shoes are vital for any physical activity and ensure these items are always in good condition.
  • Consume plenty of water before, during, and after a workout.
  • Don’t rush whenever you begin a new routine or exercise. For example, if you’re playing football for the first time and doing yoga as a beginner, don’t try to do too much of it at once. Start slowly before gradually picking up the pace and increasing the intensity.
  • Doing a mix of exercises is the best for your body. So, mix up your routine every now and then, including cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and so on.


What is a sports injury?

A sports injury is something that can occur during sports, exercise, or other physical activities, and isn’t limited to just athletes.

What is injury prevention in sports?

The areas where sports focus on when it comes to injury prevention are modification of sport rules and policies, training strategies, and equipment recommendations.

Which sport causes the most injuries?

Basketball is the sport that is known to cause the most injuries.

What are the worst sports injuries?

Some of the worst sports injuries are fractures, concussions, shoulder injuries, groin pulls, and hamstring strains.

What is sports injury therapy?

Sports injury therapy is a part of healthcare that aims to prevent injuries and provide rehabilitation to patients till they feel functional enough to get back on the field.


Playing sports and doing any exercise helps a person stay fit. However, there are instances where these acts can lead to injuries if you’re not careful. This is how a person usually gets afflicted with a sports injury.

Some of the minor sports injuries can be taken care of at home through rest and other methods.

A person should seek immediate medical care if the bruising, pain, or swelling doesn’t subside in a couple of hours or days or if they are not able to use the injured site a few hours or days after the injury has taken place.

John Furst

JOHN FURST is an experienced emergency medical technician and qualified first aid and CPR instructor. John is passionate about first aid and believes everyone should have the skills and confidence to take action in an emergency situation.

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