Skip to main content

4 Essential Steps to Take Immediately After a Sports Injury

4 Essential Steps to Take Immediately After a Sports Injury

Whether you play sports as an adult or you encourage your child to play sports, you probably already know the many benefits you can enjoy. Sports can help you live a healthy life, plus, they’re just fun. The one big drawback is that you may get injured. 

At Dr. Keppler & Associates, our experts have helped hundreds of patients get back to doing what they enjoy after a sports injury. Sometimes, though, you don’t know what to do in the immediate aftermath of an injury. In this post, we give you four essential steps to take right away. 

1. Stop 

Don’t even consider continuing to play — even if stopping means losing. It simply isn’t worth the risk of making your injury worse. So, the first thing you should do when you’re hurt is to stop playing.

Even if you can’t tell if the pain you’re feeling is an injury or just a run-of-the-mill ache, you should stop. For example, if you’re enjoying your after work jog and notice a new pain in your foot, you should stop jogging. Similarly, if you’re playing tennis, hear a popping sound, and feel pain in your knee, stop playing. 

2. Assess

Not all sports injuries are the same, and even a sprained ankle can vary significantly in severity. Once you stop playing, you should take some time to assess the situation. Are you dealing with a soft tissue injury? A potential fracture? A contusion or concussion?

Understanding what is hurt is important as you decide what to do next. You may need emergency medical care, or you may need a bandage. 

3. RICE protocol

Most people who play sports are  familiar with the RICE protocol, but let’s review: 

R: rest

I: ice
C: compress

E: elevate

Let’s say you have hurt your wrist. It’s swelling, and it’s painful to move. First, don’t do anything that requires you to move it. Then apply ice for 15-20 minutes at a time, three or four times per day. After that, use a compression bandage to hold your wrist still, and elevate it above your heart — pillows are helpful.  

At this point, if you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, you may want to do so. 

4. Seek medical care

Once you’ve taken those steps, you should schedule an appointment at Dr. Louis Keppler & Associates as soon as possible. Our experts can provide an accurate diagnosis of your injury and a treatment plan to help you heal as completely and as quickly as possible. 

Even if your injury seems minor, you should seek care so that it doesn’t become a chronic issue. This happens sometimes with injuries such as a sprained ankle. You may think that your ankle is fully healed, return to your regular activities, and sprain it again in a short time, ending up with chronic ankle instability. 

We want to help you continue to play your favorite sport for as long as you want. Sports provide mental and physical health benefits that improve your quality of life. Don’t let an injury keep you sidelined. 

Schedule your appointment at Dr. Louis Keppler & Associates today. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

 Understanding the Different Categories of Arthritis

The term arthritis is a general description of diseases that affect your joints, and more than 100 such diseases have been identified. Understanding the category and type of arthritis you have is important when it comes to treating it. 
 What Are the Treatment Options for Scoliosis?

What Are the Treatment Options for Scoliosis?

If your child has been diagnosed with scoliosis, you likely have many questions, especially about effective treatments. In this post, we discuss what kinds of treatments are available and under what conditions they are usually recommended.

Is Spinal Stenosis Ever Reversible?

You’ve been diagnosed with spinal stenosis. You’re committed to doing everything your doctor suggests. Is it possible to reverse your condition and regain the ability to move without pain?

How to Manage Hand Pain at Work

You probably don’t think about how amazing your hands are—until they hurt. Hand pain certainly has the potential to disrupt your life, from making it a struggle to button your shirt or to perform your job.
I Have Chronic Back Pain. Do I Have Arthritis?

I Have Chronic Back Pain. Do I Have Arthritis?

If you’re of a certain age, and your back starts—and keeps on—hurting, you may wonder if it could be arthritis. Understanding the underlying cause of your back pain is one step in learning to manage it.
3 Reasons Not to Ignore Abnormal Gait

3 Reasons Not to Ignore Abnormal Gait

For most people, walking doesn’t require much thought. But, if you have issues with your gait, simply walking to your mailbox can be a problem. In this post, we explain why you shouldn’t ignore issues with walking.