Healthy Athletes

Sports Injury? Don’t Play Through Pain

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By Henry Ford Health System Staff

When it comes to sports and recreation activities, injuries to athletes and weekend-warriors are inevitable. Some will occur during a practice or game, others may simply be an accident. Injuries can also happen due to poor conditioning or improper gear.

No matter which sport you play, however, being smart and using common sense goes a long way to making sure you get the proper treatment for your injury and avoid potential long-term consequences, says Henry Ford sports medicine physician Jennifer Trpkovski, D.O.

“As an athlete, it is always more beneficial for performance, for success, to be smart,” says Dr. Trpkovski. “If you treat the injury early, get to a physician, have someone take a look and give you recommendations and follow them, you actually may lose less time.”

With participation in sports and recreation activities on the rise, the risk of injury is the unfortunate reality. Among the most common are:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Knee injuries
  • Fractures
  • Hamstring or quad injuries

Dr. Trpkovski says many injuries are caused by overuse, causing undue “stress to tendons, muscles, ligaments and bones.”

“Overuse injuries usually don’t require one incident, trauma or injury,” she says. “They’re usually over time from repetitive mechanics. A runner is pretty much always going north and south. A baseball player who pitches is frequently throwing.”

Relieving Pain After a Sports Injury

To help relieve pain from an initial injury, Dr. Trpkovski recommends the RICE method.

  • Rest. Allows the injury to start to heal.
  • Ice. Reduces inflammation and swelling.
  • Compression. Helps increase blood flow to the injured area and reduce swelling
  • Elevation. Putting the injured area on a pillow, at a level above your heart, also helps reduce swelling.

Dr. Trpkovski advises athletes never to play through injury pain.

“If you are trying to actually work through these as they are still problematic, you may actually miss a longer part of your season,” she says.

If you have a sports injury, you can request an appointment with a sports medicine specialist online now or call (313) 976-4216 and we’ll see you within 24 business hours. 

Dr. Jennifer Trpkovski is a sports medicine physician seeing patients at the William Clay Ford Center for Athletic Medicine in Detroit and at Henry Ford Medical Centers in Dearborn and Novi.