What to Do (and Not Do) After Injury

There’s never a good time for an injury; however, there are definitely better and worse times. One of the worst times for an injury is during or right before a big day: a game, an event, even a special moment. Sure, you never want to sprain your ankle, but it’s definitely worse to sprain your ankle the day before your first marathon, or right before you leave on your honeymoon. Unfortunately, many people try to “push through” injury – and that’s where you can run into real problems. Here are the steps you should take instead if you’re dealing with an injury that you fear could ruin your big day:

  1. Stop. If you’re in the middle of an activity, stop your game, quit running, call a time-out. You run the risk of making any potential injury worse if you try to ignore pain and keep going.

  1. Rest. If you have a few days before your event, consider yourself on the IR list. Rest and try to keep your activity fairly light and limited to your basic daily living activities.
  1. Ice. Add ice to the injured area, being sure to protect skin. Limit ice to 10-15 minute sessions, and avoid heat for the first day or two of injury.
  2. Assess. If you have either time in advance of your event/day, see a physical therapist. A PT is an expert in the musculoskeletal system, and will assess your injury, recommending further testing/imaging if necessary. Your PT will recommend a treatment plan, which will address when you’re able to return to your normal activity level. If you’re in the middle of a game, event, race, etc., seek the medical treatment available and follow up with a physical therapist.

Warning: While it’s always tough to sit out a race, game, or other planned event, the bad news is that it can always get worse! If you try to wrap up an injury and limp through your race, or pop some ibuprofen and get through a game, you can risk serious, lasting injury that takes a lot longer to heal. It just isn’t worth the risk.

Hint: If you have pain that loosens up and goes away with activity, you’re probably okay. If you have pain that persists or worsens with activity, and/or hurts at rest, that’s a big warning sign.

Put your injury in perspective, and realize that there will be another season, another game; and for special events, you’ll likely be able to manage with the help of a physical therapist to enjoy a vacation, trip, wedding, etc. In fact, physical therapy is your best bet not only to heal your existing injury, but to learn what may have contributed to it, and help prevent re-injury in the future through learning proper movement patterns and strengthening muscle imbalances, etc. Your physical therapist will work with you in person, and will also provide detailed stretching and strengthening exercises for you to do at home, as you work toward recovery.

If you’re dealing with injury, Body One Physical Therapy is the place for you. We’re locally-owned and operated, and our team of caring, expert providers works with clients of all ages and activity levels. We have three convenient locations serving Central Indiana: North Indianapolis, Fishers, and Zionsville. Worried about a referral? Thanks to Direct Access, you have 42 days to see a PT without a referral and we’ll work with your insurance and doctor’s office if you need one for more visits. Don’t give up after injury, let Body One get you back in the game!