While there is a time and a place to “push through the pain,” injury in the athletic setting is not it! Pain is your body telling you that something is wrong, and more motion of that joint may be causing more damage. Getting back in the gym or on the field immediately after rolling your ankle, twisting the knee, or tweaking the shoulder is rarely the correct answer. By contrast, propping up on the couch with a bag of chips and watching reruns is usually not great either. The exact course of action really depends on which joints is injured and your unique situation, but in general, starting a course of anti-inflammatory medications (Alive or Advil), relative rest (2-3 days after injury), compression, and elevation are effective for minor injuries. If you try to gradually return to your activities over the next several days or weeks, but you are still limited by pain, it’s time to consult with a sports medicine specialist.

William Ashford, MD

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