Have you been sidelined by an injury and aren’t getting better? Here’s what to do.

Injuries can be a literal pain in the neck: They’re inconvenient, frustrating and interfere
with training plans. The best way to prevent them? Don’t overdo it, and always listen to
your body. If you push through or don’t treat the issue properly, you can get injured
more frequently and land back to square one.

There are four major types of injuries. Here’s a breakdown of each, and how to
handle them:

Skeletal
What it is: These injuries require time for bones to regenerate, which your body will do
naturally with rest. Bruising a bone or fracturing your femur would be examples of these
injuries.
How to treat it: Calcium supplements and boosting your Vitamin D intake can help heal
fractures.

Ligaments
What it is: Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that connect the ends of bones
together to form a joint.
How to treat it: When a ligament is pulled, strained, or torn, treatment can vary from
rest and icing to surgical repair. A complete tear of a ligament, such as the Anterior
Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in the knee, almost always requires reconstructive surgery to
replace or bolster the torn tissue. Enough tears can result in replacement procedures.

Tendons
What it is: Tendons are fibrous tissue that attach muscle to bone. Tendons usually fail
by tearing away from the bone or rupturing internally.
How to treat it: While tendons can heal on their own with long periods of rest, icing,
limited mobility, and anti-inflammatory medicine, sometimes surgery is required. Taping
up the aggravated area adds a layer of support for the recovering region. Most stores
sell slip-on compression sleeves and do-it-yourself taping packs. But avoid taping
directly onto skin—make sure there’s a layer of pre-wrap or gauze between skin and the
adhesive.

Muscle
What it is: These types of injuries are graded from low to high severity, with
inflammation and strains (grades 1-2) on the lower end of the spectrum and complete
tears (grade 3) being highest.
How to treat it: When rebounding from muscle injury, it’s important to massage and
stretch the muscle as much as you strengthen it.Compression, ice and elevation is
important for inflamed muscles because blood flows prevalently through its tissues.
Taping for compression can add extra support to recovering muscle groups.

 

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