How to know when you should seek sports injury treatment

sports injury rehabilitation

The risk of suffering a sports injury is present in almost every sport you can play. The love of the game keeps us coming back even after a traumatic sports injury. Whether you’re a part-time player or professional athlete, injuries will happen to you at some point. Fortunately, most minor ailments will heal on their own. It is important to understand when it is okay to treat yourself and when it is time to seek professional treatment.

When you can treat it yourself

Most common sports injuries do not need professional medical treatment. In fact, the RICE method can be used for most minor injuries.

  • Rest – When a sports injury is suffered, do not try and play through the pain. You risk making the trauma worse. Rest is especially important in repetitive motion injuries such as tendonitis or other overuse injuries.

 

  • Ice – To reduce swelling and inflammation, ice should be applied to injury as often as possible in the first 48 hours. Cycle periods of 15 minutes to apply and remove the ice. This will help prevent damage to the skin due to cold exposure.

  • Compression – Wrapping an ACE bandage around the injured area will increase the blood flow to the body part. This will also help decrease muscle soreness and speed up recovery. Compression should be used mostly in the first 48 hours for maximum benefit.

  • Elevation – The injured body part should also be elevated preferably above the level of a person’s heart. This will decrease swelling and reduce fluid build-up in the area.

 

For most sprains, strains and muscle pulls, the RICE method is very effective. People generally will heal within two weeks and are able to go back to playing.

When to seek immediate professional treatment

While most sports injuries are minor, others can be catastrophic and require surgery. Some injuries can seem like a small deal at the time, but can become worse if they are not properly treated. Symptoms and injuries to look out for include:

  • Visibly deformed joints or bones
  • Head injuries and concussions
  • Inability to bear any weight on the joint or limb
  • Pain that does not subside or gets worse over time
  • Tingling, numbness or weakness in the area

Physical therapy from a traumatic sports injury or post-surgical rehab is a great option for athletes looking to recover more quickly and get back out on the court or field. Panther Physical Therapy can help with patient goals by developing an individualized treatment plan. Contact us today to set up your initial appointment.