While some injuries are minor and just require a few days of rest, others are bigger than you may think. If you don't properly tend to your injuries, you could cause yourself more harm in the long run. Eventually, this can lead to long term damage to your body. If you want to take good care of your body so you can remain active, try using some of the tips below.

Only Use Over-the-Counter Pain Killers

Unless you have been to the doctor and gotten a prescription specific to your injury, use something that you can get over-the-counter. Many people use pain pills from old prescriptions they had, but this is a bad idea. Yes, this does reduce the pain more, but it also means you'll be more active than you should be because you don't feel the pain. Use mild pain relievers that reduce the swelling so you aren't in as much pain, but you aren't motivated to be more active than you should. Otherwise, you may miss cues that your body is trying to share with you.

Listen to Your Body

No one enjoys being in pain, but it does tell you something. When you are in pain, you limit how much you use that area of your body. Therefore, your pain is a reminder that you have some healing to do. Listen to the message your body is giving you and give it time to heal. You may think that you need to push yourself hard to recover, but your body has its own schedule.

Use Temperature Appropriately

Hot and cold packs can do wonders for an injury, provided you use them correctly. Keep in mind that a cold temperature causes things to contract, so it works well for swelled areas. A hot temperature causes things to expand, so it can help the blood vessels open wider. This helps increase the blood flow so your muscles and joints can get some relief. As a general rule of thumb, apply either pack for no more than 20 minutes, and use a cloth in between the pack and your skin to prevent injuries from extreme temperatures.

Of course you want to be up and about as soon as you can, but your body does require some healing time. If the injury causes acute pain or lasts for more than a couple of days, be sure to make an appointment with a professional, like those at Conroy Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, who can help you treat your injury correctly.