This is a guest post by Kennith Campbell, a writer for UltraSlide. Kennith writes about all sorts of fitness and sports related topics.
Playing sports, whether it’s basketball, baseball, tennis, or anything else, is as old of an American tradition as saying the Pledge of Allegiance or eating apple pie. Many young Americans grow up worshipping sports stars, throwing a football in their front yards, or collecting baseball cards emblazoned with their favorite athletes. Some people play sports just as a hobby in their youth. Others pursue their athletic passions into college and beyond.
Sadly however, for many people, playing sports will lead to sports injuries. It can be hard to determine whether an injury is serious or not, and what it means about the future of playing. If you’re dealing with a sports injury, below is some guidance to know if it’s time to step away and enjoy the sport as a spectator only, and how to cope with sports injuries.
Step 1 – Go to the doctor
So you think you simply pulled a muscle and it’ll be fine in a couple of days. But then a couple of days pass and you’re still in pain. At this point you should pick up the phone and make an appointment with a doctor. Get examined and find out what kind of damage your body has sustained. Only once you have this information can you make informed decisions.
Step 2 – Know what to ask the doctor
Once you’ve made your appointment, make sure you get the most out of it by asking the doctor the right questions.
- What’s my diagnosis?
- How long will recovery probably take?
- What kind of treatments are available?
- Will I need rehab?
- Can I work out safely in the meantime?
- How will I know if my injury is worsening?
When you have this information, you’ll feel more in control of the situation.
Step 3 – Stay positive
It can be very hard to mentally cope with your injury, but it’s important to maintain a positive attitude. You’ll need to work hard to get better, show up to follow up appointments, and follow your doctor’s instructions. These things will be easier to do if you stay positive. Negative thoughts will be self-defeating.
Step 4 – Give yourself a break
While you should certainly do the physical rehab prescribed by your health professionals, make sure you give yourself a mental and physical break. Mentally, don’t blame yourself for what happened. Just accept that it did. Physically, let yourself relax between rehab sessions. Use the time to catch up on your favorite television shows or read the new bestseller your friends have been talking about. Try to avoid stress, which can manifest itself physically.
Step 5 – Know when it’s time to quit
Some sports injuries end with the athlete quitting the game. This can be sad, but athletes can find other ways to enjoy sports besides playing them when it’s dangerous to do so. Listen to your doctors. If they say you can’t play anymore, take their word for it. Consider coaching or announcing – these can both be fulfilling ways to enjoy the sport without hurting yourself. You can also try other sports that won’t aggravate your injury.