Whether you’re an amateur athlete or an elite sportsman, you most likely agree that suffering an injury is one of the worst things you could ever go through. A sports injury not only shoves you to the sidelines; it also holds the potential to jeopardize your entire career.
The silver lining to it is that a quick and successful recovery is well within your power. If you’re on this page because you’re concerned that you may have injured yourself during your game and in search of answers as to how not to get sidelined for too long, here are a few tips to help you bounce back safely and successfully.
Tip #1 Seek proper medical intervention.
Pain, swelling, bruising, and weakness in the affected area are some of the common signs of a sports injury. If you’re experiencing these, your best bet is to see a sports medicine physician. If your injury involves your hand, wrist, elbow, or shoulder, work with a sports medicine physician who specializes in treating upper-extremity sports injuries. They will carry out a comprehensive evaluation to devise an effective treatment plan.
If you have a mild to moderate upper-extremity injury, your sports medicine physician will likely just rely on conservative interventions to help you heal and recover quickly. Depending on the specific type of injury you have, your sports medicine physician may recommend any or some of the following modalities:
- I.C.E. therapy (rest/activity modification, ice, compression, and elevation)
- Splinting or casting
- Physical therapy
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
Your sports medicine physician may recommend surgery, often as a last-resort intervention, if you have a severe injury or if your symptoms continue unabated after an extensive course of nonoperative treatments. In such case, your sports medicine physician may either give you a referral or perform the surgery themself if they are qualified to do so.
Tip #2 Be diligent with your physical therapy “homework.”
Physical therapy is crucial for a number of reasons:
- It addresses your symptoms.
- It facilitates a quick and safe recovery.
- It lowers your risk of reinjury.
- It helps you rebuild your strength and regain your normal function.
These should be enough motivation to stick to your physical therapy program, regardless of whether your sports medicine specialist recommended it as a mainstay of conservative treatment or as part of your rehabilitation plan. It’s also worth keeping in mind that adhering to your care plan doesn’t only entail working directly with your physical therapist at the facility. It’s equally important that you do your at-home exercises, as this significantly improves your recovery timeline and enhances the efficiency of your in-person visits.
Tip #3 Ease back into your game.
The itch to get back in the game begins when you think the pain, swelling, and all of your other symptoms have subsided. Take note, however, that this does not mean that you’re completely healed and your pre-injury state is fully restored.
Returning to your sport prematurely may only prolong your recovery, so wait till your care team gives you a go-ahead. They will thoroughly assess you to ascertain that you’re fit and ready to make a comeback.
Sports Medicine Specialists in Maryland
At Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons are highly trained in sports medicine, and they offer innovative and proven-effective solutions to help athletes and physically active people with upper-extremity injuries comfortably and safely regain their normal function and successfully get back in the game.
To consult one of our sports medicine physicians, call us today at (410) 296-6232, or simply fill out this appointment request form. We look forward to serving you at one of our locations!
We are proudly serving Lutherville, Pasadena, Clarksville, Eldersburg, Westminster, Baltimore, and Bel Air, Maryland.