Minimizing injury

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:50 pm
Although exercise is beneficial to most individuals, it is not completely free of risks. But when injuries do occur, there are some steps you can take to minimize them. Broken bones, or fractures, that occur as a result of sports participation require immediate medical attention. If someone complains of severe local pain, it is possible that a break has occurred. Signs to look for include deformity, tenderness, inability to use the extremity, swelling, and bruising. Emergency splinting of fractures, dislocations, and sprains is necessary before the person can be moved. A splint prevents movement of the injured part and can be fashioned from any material. Strains, sprains, and any kind of swelling following injury require the attention of a physician. Don't pass off an injury as 'just a sprain or strain.' If you do, you may run into problems later. An immediate way to minimize a strain or sprain injury involves RICE, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Use an elastic bandage for compression and elevate the iced, compressed injury to decrease pain. Whatever type of exercise you do, warm-up with the appropriate stretches in order to help prevent injury. For more information about minimizing injury, consult your health care provider.

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