Never try to “work through” the pain of a sports injury. Stop playing or exercising when you feel pain. Playing or exercising more only causes more harm. Some injuries should be seen by a doctor right away. Others you can treat yourself.
Call a doctor when:
- The injury causes severe pain, swelling, or numbness
- You can’t put any weight on the area
- An old injury hurts or aches
- An old injury swells
- The joint doesn’t feel normal or feels unstable.
If you don’t have any of these signs, it may be safe to treat the injury at home. If the pain or other symptoms get worse, you should call your doctor. Use the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) method to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and speed healing. Follow these four steps right after the injury occurs and do so for at least 48 hours:
- Rest. Reduce your regular activities. If you’ve injured your foot, ankle, or knee, take weight off of it. A crutch can help. If your right foot or ankle is injure
- Ice. Put an ice pack to the injured area for 20 minutes, four to eight times a day. You can use a cold pack or ice bag. You can also use a plastic bag filled with crushed ice and wrapped in a towel. Take the ice off after 20 minutes to avoid cold injury.
- Compression. Put even pressure (compression) on the injured area to help reduce swelling. You can use an elastic wrap, special boot, air cast, or splint. Ask your doctor which one is best for your injury.
- Elevation. Put the injured area on a pillow, at a level above your heart, to help reduce swelling.
d, use the crutch on the left side. If your left foot or ankle is injured, use the crutch on the right side.