Take NHS Advice Before Succumbing to Sporting Fever!
With the Olympics, Euro 2012 and Wimbledon taking place this
summer, more of us may be inspired to reach for our trainers and
Everyone should try to do some physical activity, but it can
lead to more aches, strains and sprains, especially if you don't
exercise regularly. So NHS clinicians are urging everyone to follow
some basic advice before hitting the streets, tennis court, gym or
football pitch to avoid strains and sprains.
It can be tempting to try to push yourself, especially if you
are with friends. So the first piece of advice is not to get
It's very important to warm up properly for a minimum of 10
minutes. Start with a few minutes of gentle exercise, such as
walking or jogging, to get the blood flowing to your muscles.
Gradually increase the pace until you are running briskly.
Once your muscles are warm, do some gentle stretching exercises,
paying particular attention to the muscle groups that you will be
using - for example, legs for running and arms and shoulders
for racquet sports.
A gentle cool-down after exercise will mean less muscle
stiffness and soreness afterwards.
Most mild sprains and strains can be self-treated and will start
to improve within 72 hours without the need for a GP
RICE therapy is recommended for mild sports injuries - this
stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Rest the
injured joint or muscle and avoid activity. Apply ice or
frozen veg wrapped in a damp towel to the injured area for 15 to 20
minutes, every two to three hours during the day, but not while you
Use a crepe or elastic bandage to limit any swelling, but take
the bandage off before you got to sleep. Keep the injured
area raised and supported on a pillow to reduce swelling.
Taking paracetamol will relieve any pain.
High street pharmacy staff can give advice on treating mild
strains, sprains, aches and pains. Pharmacy staff are working
with the local NHS to help people to use the right health service
first time, as part of the Choose Well campaign. Health
leaders believe more than 51 million people a year who visit their
GP with common complaints could either care for themselves or
visiting their local high-street pharmacy for help.
NHS information and advice is also available on line at http://bit.ly/nhsnwQRsprains