Tips to Reduce Swelling After Sports Injury

Inflammations and swellings can become quite painful if you don’t pay attention to them quickly. Even running cold water and ice can help reduce the swelling by removing the restricted blood flow in the area. Ice baths and ice packs have been used for this before any medications arrived.

In this article we take a look at how inflammation occurs, and how does it affect the site of injury? So that we can understand the relation between them and find effective solutions to handle it with whatever we have around us, at home, at outside. Because a medicine shop may not always be the nearest help, knowing some household DIY tricks can help with injuries, mostly during sports or physical activities far away from such facilities.

To deal with sports injuries and help with swelling in the respective area, we must first know the different types of injuries that are quite common.

  • Swollen Muscles

There is one of the easily identifiable injuries because the area is swollen from outside. It is a natural reaction to an injury that is visible as an inflammation. So, immediate application of cold running water, ice packs are very common.

  • Sprains

These are the most common injuries that we encounter in everyday life. A little imbalance can lead to a sprain in your ankle for example. It occurs when the ligaments get overstretched, most often, is the case. Else, it may also tear because of which you may experience a lot of pain. Sprained ankle recovery time can vary depending on the severity of the sprain and the specific treatment measures taken.

  • Strains

There is another kind but similar to sprain because they also deal with a tear or overstretch but instead of ligaments, tendons, and muscle fibers. This is more painful because of the sensitive tissues. Many times, people mistake strains as sprains because of which timely assistance is unavailable.

  • Knee

The injuries to the knee are very common in sports too because we tend to depend on the knee joints for all our physical activities. These types of injuries interfere with how the knee cap moves and any tear or overstretch of the tendons and ligaments and muscle fibers in the knee can lead to severe problems.

  • Fractures

It can be very painful because they do not just affect the smooth ligaments and tendons but the very skeletal framework of the body. This happens when an injury occurs at the bone level because of which, it requires immediate treatment.

  • Dislocation

It is the final kind. This is serious because it causes unbearable pain. These won’t go with an ice pack at all and require expert help.

So, once we know what kind of injury and inflammation we have, we can try to treat it accordingly. Unless this is clear to us, it is better to seek medical help or consult experts.

Remedies to Reduce Swelling

Most home remedies revolve around decreasing the swelling and improving blood flow. You may hurt your shoulder by throwing too many passes in the evening. Or twist your ankle while trying to climb down the stairs in a hurry. Or, even doing gym the wrong way can cause inflammation of muscles.

While the body is not well because of inflammation, it causes distress. It leads to over-exhaustion, and the immune system of the body responds by causing swelling or inflammation in different areas. So, what is swelling?

When there is an excess build-up of fluid in the body tissues, such as a blood clot or restricted blood flow, is an inflammation. Of course, a certain amount of swelling is normal, but beyond a limit it is painful. When this happens, white blood cells rush to the area to serve. Because of swelling or too much inflammation, normal body functions may hinder. For example, proper sleep, proper appetite, and so on. Because of this, untreated inflammation may lead to further serious injuries. So, first aid is very important in all such cases, especially during sports.

Rest, cold therapy, compression, elevation, and medication are five simple steps to deal with such issues. While cold therapy is a household remedy, often the others can also be helpful. One can make arrangements for them at home with little to no delay and start treating an inflammation. Or, consult home doctors if you feel more comfortable. But, this is a broader picture and does not apply to specific injuries and inflammation from the above list.

  • Medication

It is the final and easiest method because you don’t have to think or do much. However, it may not be easily accessible because of which, it often reaches last. Anti-inflammatory drugs are also available as OTC (Over-The-Counter) medicine without requiring any prescription. For example, Ibuprofen is a very popular drug that helps relieve body pain and inflammation in muscles. This need not be specific to a body part but even an overall body ache. These are non-steroidal and therefore safe too.

  • Elevation

It is an old or ancient method of treating injuries and reducing inflammation. It comes from physics where elevating the site of injury above the heart level contributes to a reduction in blood flow to that area. In the case of leg injuries, this is often quite common.

  • Compression

Another quite common remedy or tip is to apply pressure on the swollen area. You can use cold bandages or elastic bandages to adjust the pressure as well. Because of this, the swelling will increase or decrease and you must keep adjusting the pressure accordingly.

  • Cold Therapy and Rest

There are best because they are effective and offer immediate relief. You may have to apply ice packs and so on for 20 to 30 mins several times a day till the inflammation subsides. Some also offer cryotherapy chambers and systems to automate this. It slows down the metabolism at the site of injury and helps reduce inflammation.


Cold therapy and compression are most helpful because it causes the body to pump excess fluid away from the site of injury and that too with immediate effect. It can control pain and help you recover, but medications are also beneficial. Because they can target specific injuries but follow doctor’s guidelines at all times.