Injured While Playing a Sport? Follow These Tips


With the fall sports season nearly here, it is important for athletes of all ages to know the signs of an injury and what to do if an injury occurs. Proper treatment of an injury at the onset can result in faster and more complete healing.
Athletes should seek medical attention if an injury forces them to stop playing, or if they have the following:

  • Swelling or stiffness of a joint
  • Pain or discomfort that lasts for one to two days or that happens every time they play the sport.
When an injury occurs, do the R.I.C.E. procedure as soon as possible. R.I.C.E. stands for:
  • Rest — Avoid the activity that resulted in injury.
  • Ice — Ice the injured area for 20 minutes, and then 20 minutes two to three times a day until the symptoms are resolved or you are treated by a medical provider.
  • Compression — You can use elastic bandages or other braces for specific joints. These materials can be found at most pharmacies. Keep wraps in your athletic bag so they are handy whenever needed for you or a teammate.
  • Elevation — Keep the injured area at, or above, the level of your heart to help minimize swelling and pain.
Return to play only when you are fully recovered or are cleared by a medical provider. Playing while injured can result in more serious injuries.

Have a great sports season!
This health information was provided by Dr. Brittany Boisvert with Emerson Orthopedic Associates in Littleton. Dr. Boisvert has experience as a staff physician for the Philadelphia Phillies, the Philadelphia Eagles and other sports teams. To make an appointment, please contact Emerson Orthopedic Associates at 978-371-5390.