Skip to content

Fitness & Exercise

Font Size
A
A
A

Strains, Sprains, and Other Sports Injuries: 3 Questions

Expert advice from Edward McFarland, MD, on how to cope with these common sports injuries.

What are the most common causes of these injuries and how can you prevent them? continued...

I think that as you get more mature, you realize that it takes less and less to get your tissues aggravated.

I always tell people when you are starting out, do about one tenth of what you think you can do and try not to overdo it. We often see people who haven’t done a sport in months or years and try to go out full-gun or full-bore. Suddenly they are hurting all over, or get tendinitis, or irritation of their tendons or ligaments or knees or their joints. The biggest issue is a large increase in [physical] stress too rapidly.

But still, it is very unpredictable, which is what makes it so frustrating.

WWhat are the treatments for these different injuries?

With traumatic injuries, if you have bruising or swelling or can’t move something, you of course need to see a health provider to make sure that you didn’t break something.

For overuse injuries, there is a litany of things you can do. We usually recommend relative rest. In other words, you don’t have to completely stop your sport, but you should back off a little bit. Maybe not exercise five days a week but go to three, or maybe don’t exercise for two hours, but for 45 minutes.

You may want to do some cross training, exercising joints other than those that are irritated.

Also, use ice on places that hurt.  Ice, not heat -- the old adage about ice for 24 hours followed by heat is really not believed anymore. Ice is better for pain and swelling and for getting range of motion back. You can ice after any exercise; you can even ice at night in bed. Heat is good for stretching and before exercise, but ice is always better afterward.

You can also take some acetaminophen in a low dose if you are so inclined, but it’s a little trickier if you try to use anti-inflammatories [such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen] because there are lots of side effects associated with them. But if you don’t have trouble with those, then small doses are probably OK.

If you continue to have trouble, then seeking a consultation from a physician might be a good idea.

1 | 2
Reviewed on April 13, 2010

Healthy Living Tools

Ditch Those Inches

Set goals, tally calorie intake, track workouts and more, all via WebMD’s free Food & Fitness Planner.

Get Started

Today on WebMD

pilates instructor
15 moves that get results.
woman stretching before exercise
How and when to do it.
 
couple working out
Moves you can do at home.
woman exercising
Strengthen your core with these moves.
 
man exercising
Article
knees to chest
Article
 
Man looking at watch before workout
Slideshow
Overweight man sitting on park bench
Video
 

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

pilates instructor
Slideshow
jogger running among flowering plants
Video
 
woman walking
Article
woman doing pushups
Article