If you enjoy sports of any kind you will be aware there is always a risk of sustaining a personal injury. Inevitably some sports have a much larger risk than others and often result in serious injuries. It is normally 24
pretty obvious when you should see a doctors about a personal injury but what about when it’s not so obvious?

Any personal injury can be stressful and it can be hard to decipher between normal muscle soreness from a hard workout or niggling aches and pains which could lead to serious injury.

Doctor Paul D. Thompson is a keen marathon runner and athlete. He is a cardiologist at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, New York. Doctor Paul thinks more often than not people shouldn’t go to the doctors. He says this because whatever doctor you go to they will just advise you to stop running or training.

Even a good sports doctor will just advise stopping training. Rather than going through the trouble of making and going to a doctor’s appointment, as well as having to make a co-payment, save yourself the trouble and the fee.

Doctor Volker Musahl another keen athlete, competing in marathons and triathlons states “if you want to continue to run, don’t see a doctor”. Dr. Musahl is an orthopaedist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical center and agrees with Dr. Thompson. He would also just recommend rest to anyone who came in with a sports injury.

Although Dr. Musahl would offer this advice to anyone with the normal aches and pains every sports people suffer at some point, he warns there are certain signs to look out for.

Signs you need to seek medical attention:-

  • If your pain increases
  • If you are still in pain when resting or at night
  • Swelling of any joints
  • Bruises that do not heal
  • Locked or unsteady joints

It is also advisable to see a doctor if you notice you are not recovering as quickly as you normally would. You know your body better than anyone and you know how long it takes to recover from injury and soreness.

After a 15mile long run on a Sunday, it is likely your knees and joints will be aching and sore. You will know how you typically recover and whether it takes a few days. If your recovery is taking unusually long there may be an underlying problem.

Doctors cannot make muscle/ tendon pain disappear or recover faster. Some treatments that provide pain relief can actually slow recovery.

Diagnosis

Going to see a doctor can sometimes make you worry even more than not going. A full diagnostic check-up can involve scans which could highlight anomalies which aren’t even causing a problem. MRI scans can be extremely sensitive showing rips and tears everywhere but this doesn’t necessarily mean there is anything to worry about.

If it is decided that your personal injury does require medical assistance, a capable doctor will be able to work with you to find out the cause of the injury. Your doctor should watch how you move to establish whether there are any biomechanical problems which could be the cause.

Getting Treatment

Firstly prevention is better than cure. By warming up and cooling down correctly you may just prevent getting sore or injured in the first place. Bodybuilding.com has over 70 articles on how to warm up and stretch correctly for all types of exercise. Yoga is also amazing for building core strength and making your muscles much more supple so they don’t get injured. Yoga can also target particular troublesome areas.

There are many self-help treatments for personal injuries which doctors may not know about yet. It might be useful researching some of these before making a trip to your doctor.

For example; there are various studies which have found that eccentric contractions of a muscle speed up recovery of injuries such as tennis elbow and Achilles tendon. This would mean doing something like heel drops and raises off of a step for an Achilles tendon injury.

Dr. Musahl claims he never goes to the doctor with a sports related injury. He says it makes more sense to cross train or to rest completely, if the injury is bad enough, until the pain has disappeared. Athletes who have had the same injury before, know how long it should take to heal and deal with it themselves.

The most important thing to remember is, listen to your body. If you aren’t recovering as well as you normally do, go to the doctors otherwise rest is the best prescription for any sports injury.12