After a Sports Injury: When to See the Doctor
A safe and speedy return to activity following a sports injury or an illness depends on early recognition and treatment. Knowing when to see your doctor is an important step in this process. With major injuries or illnesses, there is little doubt about the need to seek medical attention. However, it is much more difficult to know when to seek help if there is no obvious trauma or if the symptoms don’t get in the way of playing. Many overuse injuries, such as tendonitis or stress fractures, happen over time and often have subtle symptoms. The result can be a delay in diagnosis and treatment, and delays can lead to a more serious or disabling injury.
Athletes should see a doctor for:
- Symptoms that do not go away after rest and home treatment
- Any condition that affects training or performance that has not been given a diagnosis or has not been treated
- Any condition that may be a risk to other teammates or competitors
Types of conditions
There are 3 types of conditions in which an athlete may need to see a doctor: acute injuries, overuse injuries, and medical illnesses or conditions.
Also, any athlete with a chronic injury or medical condition should see a doctor and be approved to participate in sports. Even if a pre-sport physical is not required, it is a good idea for all athletes to have an annual medical checkup before the sports season begins. This is especially true if there is any history of medical problems, injury, or regular use of medicines, or if there are questions about training….