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Sports Injury? When to Ice and When to See a Doctor

sports injury

We've all been there: You injure yourself and then agonize over whether or not to see a doctor. Some of us take the ultra-tough approach, convinced we can power through on our own; others run to the doctor's office at the first sign of discomfort. Chances are, you're somewhere in the middle.

Your health and well-being should always be your compass. Here are a few important factors to consider after sustaining an injury.

You've suffered a head injury

While symptoms may not show up right away, a head injury can be dangerous if left untreated. Red flags like losing consciousness make going to the doctor a no-brainer, but things aren't always that simple. Headaches are a common side effect of a concussion, so pay attention if they're severe or are accompanied by difficulty sleeping or weakness in the limbs. Vomiting and/or dizziness could also be signs of a serious head injury.

You're unable to stand or walk

There are many reasons you might experience difficulty standing or walking. Do you feel off balance and dizzy, or is the problem stemming from, say, intense knee pain? Immobility is cause for concern, so tune in to exactly what you're feeling. Being unable to support yourself is especially concerning if its accompanied by pain, fever or numbness in the legs or arms.

Pain that Makes it Difficult to Live Your Life

Regardless of the type of injury you've suffered, pain is the language your body uses to communicate trouble; listen to it. Is the pain getting worse? Is it interfering with your quality of life? If you answered yes, it's probably time to seek medical attention. Chronic migraine sufferers fall into this camp. (There's no reason to let a debilitating condition prevent you from living your best life.)

Soreness that Seems to be Getting Worse

Not all injuries stem from an obvious event, like turning your ankle during your morning run or getting in a car accident. Some injuries, like back or knee pain, manifest gradually over time. Again, pay attention to your body and don't dismiss chronic pain just because it didn't originate from a traumatic event. Understanding the issue is what's going to ultimately lead to your best chance of healing. Treating sciatica, for example, is quite different than treating spinal stenosis.

The big-picture idea here is to listen to your body and not be afraid to ask for help. Connecting with an experienced medical provider could be the difference between healing and suffering. Envista Medical Neck & Back Center is an integrative medical practice offering free consultations. As the saying goes: It's better to be safe than sorry. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.