You were shooting an incredible lay-up during a basketball game when rolled your ankle, you completed an excellent header with a soccer ball and are seeing stars, or you were charging down the field with the football when you got tackled, and your arm just doesn’t feel right. Injuries happen in sports all the time, and often we brush them off as part of the game, but sometimes they continue to persist and cause us problems. Therefore, it is vital to understand how to know its time to get a sports-related injury checked out.
Why Should You See a Doctor?
Often, people wait too long to seek medical attention for an injury. They may be worried about no longer being able to play a sport, have convinced themselves that it will get better, or are ignoring their bodies telltale signs of pain. This can lead to detrimental side effects if an injury is not treated correctly.
What Kinds of Conditions Should Prompt a Doctor Visit?
Three types of conditions should prompt an athlete to visit a doctor; acute injuries, overuse injuries, and medical illnesses or conditions.
Acute injuries have symptoms, including swelling, bruising, spasms, joint locking, tingling, numbness, and more. Generally, it causes pain that restricts normal daily activities and sports. This could all point to sprains, fractures, dislocations, pinched nerves, herniated disks, and other injuries that will only get worse with time.
Overuse injuries are usually noticeable after intense activity and don’t go away with rest. Symptoms can include tightness, popping, swelling, weakness, and other similar pain. These symptoms are indicative of tendonitis, shin splints, stress fractures, Little League elbow, nerve entrapment, and other serious injuries.
Medical illnesses and conditions have a wide array of possibilities. Some examples can include concussion, infection, abdominal pain, heat injury, and cardiac or respiratory diseases. All of these conditions come with severe symptoms that will prompt an immediate doctor visit. If you are aware that you have an existing medical condition, it is advised to seek a sport’s physical before you play. This will avoid preventable injuries and ensure that you take all the proper steps to play a sport safely.
How Long Should You Wait?
If it is a severe injury that requires immediate medical attention, then make sure that you see a doctor right away. However, if you believe that the injury doesn’t warrant a visit, then wait a maximum of two weeks to see if it clears up on its own. If within two weeks, it hasn’t improved, then it is time to call the doctor.
Knowing when its time to get a sports-related injury checked out is a valuable skill that can save you a considerable amount of pain down the road. Being aware of what your body is telling you and making sure to visit a clinic when you do get injured is vital to ensure a healthy and happy sports season.