Whether you’re a hardcore or a weekend athlete, injuries may occur. And if you do, you could take a hard time deciding if your injury or pain should be seen by a sports medicine specialist or not. Although there are no clear rules to tell you whether a doctor needs to look at your injury, you can use these guidelines to decide when it’s time to receive medical assistance.
Regular Wear and Tears
Suppose you have pain in your ankle every time you play basketball. The pain has become a regular part of your practice. In fact, during and immediately after you play, is the only time you experience this.
Such a lesion is often called an overuse lesion. You probably don’t have to consult a doctor unless you have swelling, bruising and discoloration, limited range of movements, or an articulation. When looking after your overuse injury, use common sense. Use a counter medication such as Ibuprofen and let it rest whenever you can. But it may be time for your doctor if your overuse injury is not cured or if you experience any of the above symptoms.
After the Injury
In the first few hours of a muscle injury, you can expect a few things to happen. You may experience swelling and bruising other than immediate pain. The first sharp pain can lead to a sparkling pain. The wounded region can also be movement sensitive and tend to touch. You might not normally be able to use it for the first few hours at least.
The acronym R.I.C.E. is used by many sports coaches and athletes to remember how to treat a small muscle injury. It represents rest, ice, pumping, and lifting.
Rest is one of the best ways to begin your healing process. Your injured muscle, especially during the first few hours, is weak and vulnerable to further injury. Please take a break to help it heal.
Within the first day or two after an injury, the benefits of applying ice will be greater. Put ice in a bag of frozen ice or a bag of frozen veggies and keep it in the injured area. It helps alleviate the pain by decreasing blood flow to the area and preventing swelling. Never put the ice straight on your bare skin to prevent frostbite. Wrap it rather in a thin towel than apply it to the injured area solely. Place ice for 15 and 20 minutes and allow the skin to return between icing to a normal temperature.
An elastic dressing wrapped around your lesion can decrease swelling as it prevents fluid accumulation. It can also help to alleviate pain through a little immobilization of the area injured. The bandage may not be sufficient to completely stop mobilization of the injured area, but it will support it and make you stay quiet.
If the dressing causes tingling, remove it and wrap it looser. It should not be tight enough to cause discomfort or blood flow. Even mild compression can help avoid collecting fluid around the wound.
Elevating your injury above your heart level reduces swelling by letting fluid drain away from the surrounding area. If you can’t raise it above your heart, try maintaining the wounded area on or near your heart.
Who Should You See?
You can choose which sort of doctor you see for your sports wound unless you are injured, which leads to an emergency room trip. You may have an athletic trainer or team doctor at your disposal if you are on a team or in an arranged sports program. You will have to decide who can help you the best if you’re not part of a team. Contact a sports medicine doctor here at Oklahoma Pain Doc.
**Disclaimer: This content should not be considered medical advice and does not imply a doctor-patient relationship.