In general, being active and exercising are beneficial to health and well-being. However, all physical activity carries risk of injury. So what do you do when you get injured?
Let’s back up a bit; how do you know if you’ve been injured? You may see physical signs such as swelling, bruising or redness. More likely, however, you’ll simply feel something, such as a body part moving incorrectly, snapping, or just plain hurting.
If any of those things happen, stop the actively and assess the area. That may sound obvious, but it’s typical for active people – especially very active people – to keep moving through an injury. This may come in the form of finishing a weightlifting set or completing a run in progress. Don’t do it. Just stop!
Try to ice, elevate (above the heart, if possible), and compress with an ace bandage. Avoid tightening the bandage to the point of compressing your blood vessels and nerves. Over time swelling can increase so you may find that you have to loosen your bandage. You’ll know it’s time to loosen the bandage if you feel tingling or see swelling on either side of it.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you should consider seeing a sports medicine physician for a diagnosis and treatment plan. If it is after-hours and treatment is too urgent to wait, then consider an urgent care, emergency room visit, or call to an ambulance depending on severity.
Regardless of the severity of the injury, some treatment is warranted. Minor injuries can cause problems down the road if ignored or if aggravated by continuing the same activity that created it. Do not hesitate to seek medical care. Be safe, not sorry!