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Certain activities such as playing baseball or weight lifting can result in too much stress on the forearm, leading to injury. A forearm injury can quickly derail your workout goals, which is why knowing how to recover from one is extremely important.
Forearm injuries are among the most common type of athletic injury, and may be classified as either strains or sprains. A strain involves tearing or damage to a muscle, while a sprain has to do with the unusual stretching or tearing of tendons. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) classifies strains and sprains into three different categories:
The first step in treating a forearm injury involves applying the PRICE principle:
Over-the-counter medication can also be used to help alleviate pain and swelling. Many people find that alternating between hot and cold therapy provides greater relief than using ice alone.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends seeing a physician for a second or third-degree forearm injury. In addition, longer rest periods are required for more severe injuries. You may notice some improvement within 48-72 hours for first-degree injuries; however, the recovery period could take several weeks for second or three-degree ones. During the recovery period, you should avoid heavy lifting, activities that require gripping such as tennis or golf, or overextending the forearm or elbow such as in baseball.
If you regularly engage in an activity that puts you at a higher-than-average risk for developing a forearm injury, you should take preventive measures such as:
A forearm injury can keep you from becoming competitive, and can also hinder everyday activities. Use the above information to help you prevent and treat forearm injuries so they do not keep you from doing the things that keep you fit and healthy.