There are a few signs that might indicate you’re not fully recovered after a sports injury. Here’s when it’s time to visit the doctor again.
We all know the classic RICE recovery — rest, ice, compression, and elevate any injury. But is RICE always enough?
When athletes suffer an injury, it’s not just about overcoming pain. It’s about healing properly, so they can get back to the sport they love.
Are You Really Recovered After A Sports Injury?
If you want a full recovery, see a doctor when you notice any of these signs:
1. The Pain Is Severe
The pain is so bad you can’t walk without assistance, or there’s any chance you might have a broken bone.
If you’re struggling to move the hurt part of your body correctly and you see a significant amount of swelling, these are signs you need immediate attention.
Wakefield Urgent Care recommends going if you’re unsure just how severe it is. If a serious problem goes untreated, it might heal improperly, causing more severe problems in the future. If it turns out you’ll be fine without a doctor’s intervention, they’ll send you away, no harm done.
But if you’re serious about staying healthy and active, take care of your body when it needs it most so you can recover in total health.
2. You’ve Had A Similar Injury Before
Once you are hurt, you’re in danger of recurring injuries, which can have even more severe consequences than the initial injury.
If you believe you’ve experienced a recurring injury, it’s best to check in with your doctor for the best course of action.
Depending on the injury, you may not need immediate attention. But the sooner you get it checked out and restart treatment, the more likely you can get stronger and avoid more frequent recurrences.
3. The Pain Has Returned
You experienced an injury, but it disappeared on its own. After a period of relief, it’s back, maybe even worse than before. You likely haven’t injured it again. Instead, the underlying issue was never really fixed; you just found relief from the symptoms.
No matter how bad the pain is now, you should see a doctor. They can provide the lasting treatment that will fully heal your injury rather than merely treat the symptoms that go away and come back.
4. Things Haven’t Improved After A Week
Things weren’t serious enough to require immediate attention. You gave it a week, and now things aren’t looking any better. Perhaps the injury is even worse.
Your most common type of sports injury is sprains and strains. These heal pretty quickly. Depending on the injury and your body, it could heal anywhere from 1-8 weeks. But even if it takes a full eight weeks to heal, you should notice some improvements after one week.
So perhaps after a week, you’re not completely healed, but things have improved. You’re probably fine to continue resting the muscle and following a RICE recovery method.
If things aren’t improving at all, you likely have an injury that’s more serious than a sprain or strain. At that point, it’s time to see a doctor. They can properly diagnose your injury and get you on the right path to healing.
Is It Time To See The Doctor?
You know your body best. So even if you don’t have a medical degree, you can likely tell when things are off.
Make sure you listen to your body. Pain, swelling, tingling, numbness — these are all signs your body is giving you to give it what it needs to heal.
Whether your injuries require intervention or seeing your doctor would give you peace of mind, make sure you take your injury seriously.
Give yourself all the time you need for rest and recovery, and follow the doctor’s orders so you can come back stronger than ever.