Injuries happen to everyone. They are caused by participating in sports, recreational activities like hiking, and even by accidentally stepping off a curb wrong. If you experience a sprain or strain, the first few days are often the most painful. Renown Sports Medicine physicians Luis Palacio, MD and Brandon Hockenberry, MD walked us through what to do after an injury. Listen to Your Body See a medical professional right away if: You know or suspect that a bone is broken You are having difficulties putting full weight on a joint of the leg Pain or swelling is severe There is a sign of an infection, such as redness and warmth in the joint The First 24-72 Hours Joint sprains tend to swell more than muscle strains. You can use ice as needed for comfort and to relieve any pain, but do not use ice for more than 15-20 minutes at a time. Ice and NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen) can help prevent excessive swelling and mask the pain, but they do not speed recovery. Some research shows that overuse of ice actually delays recovery. During the first 24-72 hours, your injury will go through an inflammation phase. Inflammation is your body’s natural way to dispose of dead tissue cells, build new healthy structures, and hopefully heal even stronger than before.
Tendonitis occurs when a tendon in your body is inflamed or irritated. This painful condition can impact your day-to-day activities, but can be managed and prevented. Luis Palacio, MD, shared some insights into how to manage tendonitis. Overuse and Repetitive Motion Tendons are complex tissues in our body that connect muscles to bones, allowing us to move. Unfortunately, sometimes these tendons become inflamed, worn down or injured, a condition called tendonitis. Symptoms of tendonitis include pain or dull ache, tenderness and mild swelling at the site. While tendonitis can be caused by a sudden injury, it is more commonly seen in frequent motions, including: Repetitive motions in exercise, work or other physical activities. Awkward positions in a movement, including poor posture. Forced movements that strain your body. Sudden increase in frequency of movement or level of difficulty, including little to no recover time between new activity. Shoes without proper support or hard surfaces, such as concrete floors. Evaluation is Key If you suspect that you have tendonitis and it does not resolve on its own after a few days, you should get it evaluated by a primary care or sports medicine doctor. They can make recommendations to aid your recovery and refer you to the right sub-specialist if needed. With some intentional actions, you can help reduce the risk of tendonitis with the following suggestions: Add variety: Mixing up the type of exercise you do will help prevent repetitive motions that can result in overuse. Stretch and condition: Make sure the keep up with proper stretching and muscle strengthening to support your physical activities. Do it right: Make sure that the way you are completing exercise or work-related physical activities is correct. Seek out a professional for lessons or guidance if you are unsure.