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HomeHealthThings you should not do when you have an injury

Things you should not do when you have an injury

Whether you are a full-time athlete or someone who just enjoys being active, being injured is a difficult situation. Regardless of whether it is an acute or overuse injury, you may have an overwhelming amount of stress trying to figure out how to handle your injury so that you recover quickly and minimise your chances of a recurrence in the future.

Following an injury, it’s critical to know what not to do in order to protect the primary injury and protect the tissue from further trauma and reducing bleeding and swelling.  Here’s what you need to know while dealing with an injury.

5 things that should all be avoided during injury


If you have a fresh injury, it is advised to stay out of the heat for at least a week following an accident because damaged blood vessels can continue to leak and be weak for a few days after the injury (this may vary depending on the severity of the injury). Taking a hot shower, going into saunas/ steam rooms, or applying a heat pack should be avoided in the early stages of injury.

Also, heat can intensify the inflammatory response. While inflammation is an essential component of the healing response, excessive inflammation can actually lead to more tissue damage.

If the area swells up, it is probable that you’ve torn a rather large one. Your goal should be to attempt to stop the bleeding as soon as possible. Heat causes an increase in blood circulation in that area, which will obviously have the opposite effect – making your injury worse.


Drinking alcohol might numb the pain and postpone medical care if the damage is serious. But it will cause minor injuries to swell and bleed more quickly, which will slow down the healing process. Your injury will worsen and you will bleed more into the wounded area. 

It is recommended to avoid drinking alcohol for 24 hours following an injury. If your injury swells up quickly, consider not eating or drinking for 72 hours (this could mean damage to a slightly larger blood vessel).


Any kind of exercise is a strict no-no for about 48-72 hours. The injured area needs adequate rest to recover and running or any other form of exercise would do more harm than good. Make sure to consult your doctor before you get back to any sport.


When you sustain an injury, that injured area is weak and the new cells that form are prone to tear or damage. Therefore, massaging an ointment to the injured part is strictly forbidden. Very light strokes should be used during the first few weeks to avoid bleeding and swelling. Massaging the area around the injured part may provide relief, although this must be avoided for up to 72 hours.

Not eating enough

The types of food you eat while healing can impact your recovery time frame and fuel the body for recovery. If you’re dealing with an injury, your body is under stress, and the energy demands of your body are likely to increase at the onset of injury. Research best supports that whenever your body experiences a health disturbance, such as injury, sickness or inflammation, your priority should be getting enough calories to support healing—not limiting your intake because you’re moving less. Of the three macronutrients—carbs, fat, and protein, protein plays a vital role during injury recovery. 

Closing thoughts 

Recovering from injury can be overwhelming. You’re burdened by pain, worried about your diagnosis—or lack thereof—and sidelined from the physical activity that you love. On top of all that, you might feel the need to reconsider the way you eat since your level of activity is lower than normal. With the proper nutrition and recovery plan, you can recover from your injury as quickly as possible and reclaim your health.

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