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How to Deal With a Sports Injury

Many of you are excited to kick-start your Spring with some outdoor sports, but if you're a bit overzealous in your return to this active season, you may end up with an injury. The big question is, do you go see a doctor or treat it yourself? Dr. Thomas Best, a doctor and marathon runner told The New York Times, "Know how you typically recover. When you are not recovering as you typically do, that’s the first warning that something more is going on."

Other signs you should seek medical attention include:

  • You're constantly in pain, even when walking and resting.
  • The pain gets worse.
  • Your joints lock.
  • Swelling or bruising doesn't go away.

If you aren't experiencing the above signs, there are many ways to treat minor injuries at home. Find out my tips when you


  • For shin splints, be sure to rest and ice your shins for 20 minutes, at least twice a day.
  • With a pulled muscle, once you've iced the area and the pain subsides, stretching and low impact exercise will get the blood flowing again.
  • If you sprain your ankle, remember R.I.C.E. — rest, ice, compression, elevation.
  • When icing, start ASAP for the best results.
  • For chronic pains such as sore, stiff, nagging joint or muscle pain, apply heat not ice.

How do you handle a sports injury? What have you found works/doesn't work for you?

Spartygirl03 Spartygirl03 7 years
I'm dealing with a foot injury now and I've been icing & stretching a lot and switched to the stationary bike from the treadmill and elliptical. It's tough, but you have to rest (like runningesq said) to get better. Also, I try to use the stick, foam roller and stretch a lot. That definitely helps to prevent injuries!
runningesq runningesq 7 years
REST ! Much better to take off a week at the beginning of an injury than to take off several months after it has gotten worse. Cross train. An overuse injury with my knee lead me back to the pool... once I started swimming again I discovered triathlons !
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