Treatment for a sports injury will depend on factors such as how severe the injury is and the part of your body affected. Some general treatments that may be helpful for your injury are described below:
Minor injuries, such as mild sprains and strains, can often be initially treated at home using PRICE therapy for two or three days. PRICE stands for protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation.
Painkillers, such as paracetamol, can be used to help ease the pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) tablets or creams, such as ibuprofen, can also be used to help ease any pain and help to reduce any swelling.
Immobilisation can sometimes help to prevent further damage by reducing movement. It can also reduce pain, muscle swelling and muscle spasm. For example, slings, splints and casts may be used to immobilise injured arms, shoulders, wrists and legs while you heal.
Some people recovering from a long-term injury may benefit from physiotherapy. This is a specialist treatment that can involve techniques such as massage, manipulation and exercises to improve the range of motion, strengthen the surrounding muscles, and return the normal function of injured area.
If you have severe or persistent inflammation, a corticosteroid injection may be recommended. These can help to relieve pain caused by your injury, although for some people the pain relief is minimal or only lasts for a short period of time. If necessary, the injections can be repeated every few months, but care must be taken to avoid side effects, such as thinning of the skin.
Most sports injuries don't require surgery, but very severe injuries such as badly broken bones may require corrective surgery to fix the bones with wires, plates, screws or rods. In some cases, however, it may be possible realign displaced bones without needing an operation.