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Top tips to treat sports injuries at home

Pharmacist says staying hydrated is important for keeping muscles functioning well.

WHEN playing sport, exercising or gardening, as part of an active, healthful routine, minor muscle strain and stiffness are common.

Pharmacist Shriya Data of Medipost Pharmacy says if you push yourself harder than usual or overexert your muscles, it is likely you could experience muscle stiffness or delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) for a few days afterward.

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She said there are several home medicine kit essentials that can help ease the discomfort of sports injuries without the need for a doctor’s prescription.

“From a pharmacist’s perspective,” Data stated, “one of the safest homecare treatments to relieve pain from mild sports injuries or muscle stiffness is by using a combination of a muscle relaxant and an anti-inflammatory.”

She said the standard dose for the combination of a muscle relaxant and painkiller in adults is orphenadrine citrate and paracetamol 35mg/450mg (one tablet) to 70mg/900mg (two tablets), three times per day for those older than 14 years.

“Be aware that orphenadrine can make you drowsy, therefore you should not have it if you are planning to drive or operate heavy machinery. The anti-inflammatory that can be used is Ibuprofen, at a dosage of 200 to 400mg every eight hours. The combination of both the muscle relaxant and the anti-inflammatory will be most effective,” Data said.

The recommended oral dose of anti-inflammatories for adults is 200mg to 400mg, every eight hours. The maximum dose of 1 200mg per 24 hours should never be exceeded.

She advised that oral anti-inflammatories must be taken after meals as they can irritate the stomach lining.

Top tips for home care (RICE)

R for Rest ­– take a break from physical activities that could put further strain on the area.
I for Ice therapy – place an ice pack on the area for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
C for Compression – bandage a swollen ankle but not too tightly as this could cut off blood circulation.
E for Elevation – try to keep the affected limb propped up as this helps to reduce swelling. If your ankle is sprained, try not to put your weight on it for a few days.

She said other preventative tips include allowing at least four to six weeks for a sports injury to heal before recommencing training, stretching daily to prevent muscle strain, and allowing for warming up and cooling down before and after every exercise session.

“Staying hydrated is important for keeping your muscles functioning well in all physical activities. If you gym regularly, don’t train the same muscle groups every time. Rather, rotate leg and arm days and other types of exercise as part of a regular routine.

“Eat a varied diet with sufficient protein and foods containing magnesium, such as green, leafy vegetables and beans, and potassium, such as bananas.”

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