Preventing injuries should always be your first priority, whether you are playing competitive sports or just enjoying a hike in the hills. Wearing proper shoes and protective gear, warming up properly, and knowing your limits can all help you avoid injuries. And to help keep kids safe and protected, helmets should always be required for riding bikes, playing contact sports, or engaging on any other activity that could result in concussion or traumatic brain injury.
Of course, accidents will still happen, and injuries will still occur no matter how many precautions you take. For a mild sprain, following the P.R.I.C.E. treatment may be all you need: protect, rest, ice, compression and elevation. But for anything more serious, prompt medical treatment is important for proper healing and recovery.
Seek immediate medical attention if you or your loved one has any of these symptoms:
- A bone or joint that looks "crooked" or moves abnormally
- A limb that can't bear weight
- Reduced range of motion
- Major swelling at injury sight
- Dramatic skin color changes (beyond bruising)
- Intense or unrelenting pain
- Numbness or tingling
- Pain in the joint that lasts more than 48 hours
- Injury that doesn't improve after 2-3 days
Sports Medicine specialists today have more options for non-invasive treatment and rehabilitation, so you can get back to your normal routine more quickly. And when an injury or condition requires surgery, minimally invasive and cutting-edge procedures can help reduce your recovery time and improve outcomes.
This article first appeared in the August 2013 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.