What to do against sports injuries

You can get a muscle injury from doing sports more quickly than you think. Just one wrong move, and it's already too late. Read more about the best way of treating bruises and torn muscles, and of preventing such injuries in the first place.
Sports injuries often mean an unplanned break in the training schedules of competitive and hobby athletes. Yet treating an injured muscle quickly will shorten the recovery period, and using the right preventive steps can reduce the risk of injuries considerably.

Frequent muscle injuries

A bruise is caused when blood vessels surrounding various muscle fibres burst from being squeezed against a bone or joint capsule. The most frequent cause of bruises is getting kicked or hit, or falling.

A pulled muscle, on the other hand, occurs when muscle tissue is excessively strained or stretched, causing it to tear, but without affecting the overall anatomical structure of the muscle. If you ignore the pain from a pulled muscle and continue to strain it, you can end up with a condition called torn muscle fibre, which may affect individual muscle fibres, or the muscle as a whole.

Steps to take

We recommend the following general steps when first treating a sports injury:

Pause – stop training immediately and give the affected body part a rest.

Ice – applying ice will lessen the effects from inflammations or bruises. Important: Never apply ice directly to the skin.

Compression – apply a tight bandage at the right time. This will help to prevent excessive swelling and bleeding, because the pressure will close the vessels and thus prevent more blood from escaping.

Positioning – keep the injured body part still and in a high position, ideally above heart level. This will improve the flow of blood back to the heart and prevent swelling.

If you continue to feel strong pain after administering these first-aid measures, you will need to see a doctor.

How to prevent muscle injuries

Protect your muscles before and after training with these preventive tips:

Warming up: You can reduce the risk of injury considerably by preparing the body for the ensuing strain. For example, you can walk at a relaxed pace for approx. 15 minutes. This will increase the circulation to the tissue and make your body more elastic and resistant to strain.

Stretching: It is important to stretch vigorously after doing sports. This helps to develop the agility of your muscles, tendons and ligaments gradually, which in turn will reduce the risk of injury in the long term.
In the event of further health-related questions, SWICA customers can contact the santé24 telemedicine service free of charge on +41 44 404 86 86. A telemedicine practice licence allows santé24 physicians to provide additional medical services in cases that are suited to a telemedicine approach. SWICA customers can also use the BENECURA medical app to carry out a digital SymptomCheck and receive recommendations about what to do next. During a subsequent phone call with santé24, customers can decide for themselves whether to release their information from SymptomCheck to santé24.