Injuries can happen at any given moment when you’re exercising or working out. Usually, the more equipment you use, the more chance there is of a sports injury happening. If you’re in a gym environment, and you injure yourself, the right thing to do is speak to a member of staff. From here, they can provide basic first aid or call an ambulance to take you to the ER.
But, if you’re working out at home – or anywhere else where you’re alone – you don’t have the luxury of getting instant assistance. Instead, you need to figure out how to handle the injury by yourself. Here are a few key considerations that can minimize the impact of the injury and help you get the right treatment ASAP:
Stop what you’re doing
Right away, stop your workout and sit down. Take a moment to let your heart rate decrease and assess your wound. Is it bleeding? Is it swollen? Does it hurt when you move part of your body? Do not carry on working out when you have hurt yourself as you will only make the injury worse!
Stop any bleeding
For wounds that are bleeding, your next course of action is to stop or reduce the bleeding as quickly as you can. This starts by cleaning out the wound, adding some wound dressing, and applying pressure to the area. Pressure should be applied for up to 10 minutes as this is long enough to stop the bleeding. You can either apply pressure with your hand and a bandage, or you can tie a bandage around the wound to apply pressure that way.
Hopefully, this is all you have to do. You may have a minor cut that hurts a bit, but it will stop bleeding after you follow these steps. If it carries on bleeding, you should phone an ambulance or ring a friend to take you to the ER.
Ice a swollen injury
Sometimes, your injury doesn’t draw any blood as you’ve either sprained or twisted your ligaments – or you might have fractured a bone. In these cases, you need to focus on reducing the swelling. Ice the wound with a cold compress to soothe the pain and prevent it from swelling up too much.
If you are in severe pain and can’t move a joint or can’t put weight on your feet, then you will need medical attention. Again, the best course of action is to phone for help, rather than attempting to take yourself to the emergency room.
It’s so important that you follow these steps when you injure yourself while working out at home or alone. Stop what you’re doing, calm any bleeding, and ice any swelling. Then, assess the situation and decide if you require additional attention. It’s okay – in the case of some injuries – to stay where you are and just focus on resting up. You might find that the injury feels better in a few hours or the next day. Or, it could get worse, in which case you now know to call for extra help.