While some injuries are immediately apparent, others can creep up gradually and get progressively worse over time. Paying attention to the warning signs is key. By addressing the problem early on, you help reduce the risk of developing a more serious or long-term injury that sidelines you from your favourite activity or sport. Pay attention to these Injury warning signs:
Pain is a sign that something is wrong – never ignore it! If you experience any pain during exercise, stop activity and try to identify the source. Pay attention to where exactly the pain occurs. Is it in one specific place or a generalized ache over a large area? Does it travel up or down or radiate to other areas? Understanding your pain can often help you get the right treatment.
Pain after intense or contact sports that lasts longer than 48 hours can be a sign of an injury that needs medical attention. If you are unable to support your weight on your injured leg because of pain, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Tenderness at a Specific Point
If you feel pain or tenderness at a specific point in a bone, muscle or joint, when you press your finger into it, you may have a significant injury. If the same spot on the other side of the body does not produce the same pain, you should seek medical attention.
Most injuries are accompanied by swelling, so paying attention to the severity and duration can help you distinguish serious injuries from minor ones. Severe swelling is often accompanied by pain and a lack of motion in the joints. When this lasts for more than a few hours or does not react to ice, it is time to see the doctor.
A reduced ability to move or bend your injured joint is another sign of an underlying serious injury. Compare one side of the body with the other to identify major differences. If the injured joint moves significantly less or with significantly more pain, it’s time to get medical treatment.
When a joint or muscle has sustained a significant injury, there is often noticeable weakness in the area. Comparing one side to the other for weakness can often be a clue to help identify serious injury. Weakness by itself or weakness and pain may be a warning sign that a significant injury has occurred.
Numbness and Tingling
One of the most serious signs that you’ve sustained a significant injury is numbness or a tingling sensation This warning sign is often related to nerve compression and should be evaluated by a doctor immediately.
Remember that early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent a more serious and long-term injury…so when in doubt, play it safe and see a health care practitioner for help!
Our Sports Medicine Doctor and Surgeon Dr. Nguyen, explains the diagnosis to his patient so they not only understand the nature of the injury and how to best treat it, but also learn how to prevent future injuries.
Dr. Duong Nguyen is a sports medicine doctor and surgeon at PhysioPlus Health Group specializing in sports-related knee, elbow and shoulder injuries. As a soccer player himself, he understands the pain and frustration of an injury, and takes pride in knowing he can help his patients get back to doing the sports and activities they love.