Everyone experiences athletic injuries at some point in their life. However, as you age it becomes easier to re-injure old injuries while also compounding new ones, which then take longer to heal. Those things you could get away with in your 20’s aren’t as easy to ignore and still recover from in your 30’s, 40’s, and later decades. At Quince Orchard Medical Center, we believe that it is important to take care of yourself and address small problems before they compound into larger ones. In doing so you can maintain a healthy and active lifestyle for many years to come.
Some of the most common sports and athletic injuries include sprains and strains, sore or inflamed muscles, joint pain, shin splints, joint dislocations and shoulder injuries. At the onset of just about any musculoskeletal injury, begin with RICE therapy. RICE therapy is the acronymfor Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Avoid whatever mechanisms or motions cause an increase in symptoms or pain. If you have a leg or ankle injury, you may need to decrease the amount of weight you bear on the affected side. Working through the pain, especially if the pain is sharp, shooting or stabbing in nature is not recommended. According to the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Skin Disease, apply ice at 20 minute intervals up to eight times a day. Use a cloth or towel to prevent the ice from producing a cold injury and discomfort. For compression, use an Ace™ bandage and wrap the affected area at an even pressure. This willreduce additional swelling and lead to a quicker recovery. Elevation will facilitate a decrease inswelling, especially if accompanied by ice. After a few days, if you don’t notice significant reduction in pain and swelling, contact your physician.
Over the counter NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) including aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen and can be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Be aware of relying on them too much, otherwise you could mask a more serious problem or increase a risk of stomach ulcers. Always follow the warning labels on over the counter NSAIDS and see your doctor if there are any concerns. Do not take NSAIDS if you have a history of gastrointestinal problems, stroke, kidney problems, hypertension, or if you are pregnant. If you take NSAIDS for a few days and the pain does not decrease, consider stopping taking the medication and seeing a doctor.
If you are a weekend warrior, consider performing lighter exercise activities throughout the week. Incorporating sport-specific cross-training into your workout routine can decrease your risk of re-injury or overuse injuries, which can lead to chronic pain in your joints and/or muscles. If you experience chronic pain or ongoing discomfort please consider coming into our office for an evaluation. Together we can decide the best course of treatment to meet your goal of returning tos ports and/or an active lifestyle without having to battle chronic pain.