Active people often resist going to the doctor out of fear they will be told they will have to stop training. Or worse, they fear they will need surgery. Are there steps you can take on your own to recover from injury and overcome pain that is keeping you from playing sports or exercising the way you want?
I know ice has come under fire recently, but for many overuse injuries marked by inflammation, using ice can help decrease your pain.
Avoid the exercise that bothers that area for a few days.
You don’t have to stop exercising altogether. Just find an exercise that doesn’t stress the injured area for a few days. Then go back to your preferred exercise and see how it feels.
Try an over-the-counter brace or compression wrap.
Not every cause of pain will respond to a knee sleeve or an ACE bandage. For some problems, especially when you notice swelling, these remedies can make you feel better and do your activities a little easier.
Stretch the painful area.
For minor problems, often some simple exercises to stretch the painful area can help. Likewise, use of a foam roller or even massage to that area can help decrease pain and swelling.
How can I fully recover after injury?
See a physical therapist to recover from injury.
In all 50 states in the U.S., you can see a physical therapist without a doctor’s prescription. They can evaluate your injury, take steps to help decrease pain and swelling and recommend exercises you can do to heal and return to exercise. If they feel it’s a more serious problem, they can recommend that you see a sports medicine doctor or orthopedic surgeon.
It’s never a bad idea to see a doctor for a bone or joint injury. But if you feel your injury is minor, these steps might help get you back in the game quickly and safely.