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Why does elevating a sports injury help it heal?

April 10th, 2019
elevating sports injury

If you play sports, you may have experienced a sports injury. If you’ve played for many years, you may know some methods to help your injury heal. However, you may not know why elevation helps a sports injury heal. Fortunately, there’s a physical therapy team that can help you learn about this important topic.

Our Rehab Access team offers many types of high-quality physical therapy in communities surrounding Belle Chasse and Gretna, Louisiana. In fact, we’ve been providing physical therapy in these areas for more than two decades, and we’ve learned a thing or two during that time.

For one thing, we’ve learned that listening is a critical part of our ability to develop the best therapy plan for you. This is why we’ll always make time to listen to any questions, concerns or therapy goals you have. One goal you may want to include in your therapy plan is finding out why elevating a sports injury helps it heal.

One reason elevating a sports injury helps it heal

Some areas of the body that are often injured playing sports are your limbs. In fact, you may have experienced an injury to your knee, ankle, foot, elbow or wrist during a game or at practice. One piece of advice you were likely given was to elevate your injury, and you may have wondered why elevating your sports injury helps it heal.

One reason elevation helps sports injuries is it helps reduce swelling. Swelling is the increased movement of fluid and white blood cells to a specific part of the body. While it can occur for other reasons, swelling is an important part of the body’s natural inflammatory response. What your body is telling you is to not use the injured area so it can work toward healing it.

Unfortunately, swelling can also cause pain. This is because swollen tissue presses against nerves that send pain signals to your brain. To help reduce swelling and pain in limb injuries, elevation is very important. In fact, it helps drain the excess fluid from the site of your injury, and this may reduce pain and speed up healing. In order to get the best results from elevation, you should raise the limb above the level of your heart. If you can’t, you’ll want to raise it so that it’s as high as possible.

Besides elevation, there are also other treatment options that may help reduce swelling and inflammation, including:

  • Icing
  • Compressing injured area with a bandage
  • Resting the injured body part as much as possible

Our team at Rehab Access often recommends rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) in the first few days after a sports injury. Once this initial healing period is over, we can build you a personalized therapy plan designed to strengthen injured body structures and speed up your healing.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.