injury careIf you’re an athlete, chances are you’ve sustained an injury during game play or practice. Unfortunately, it often comes with the territory. But what really matters is how you treat that sports injury. Fail to take care of it right away and you could risk your future in the sport. Below, we’ve outlined a few of the major mistakes athletes make when it comes to injury care. You’ll want to make sure you avoid these missteps at all costs.

MISTAKE: Playing Through the Pain
The mantra of many an athlete is to “play through the pain,” but this is actually really bad advice. It might allow you to finish the game, but it’ll also do even more damage to your body. There’s a big difference between pushing your body and not listening to your body when it’s sounding the alarm. If you’re inclined to try to “tough it out,” ask yourself whether the damage you risk is actually worth it. In most cases, it simply won’t be. You’ll be much better off seeking out pain care right away than trying to walk it off.

MISTAKE: Neglecting To Seek Out Immediate Treatment
In a recent study, results showed that approximately 89% of urgent care clinics saw an increase in patient visits throughout 2014. But that doesn’t always mean athletes are always likely to head to their walk in clinic right away. You might mistakenly believe that the pain will dissipate on its own or that you can handle your recovery by yourself. In reality, your injury could be a lot more serious than you think. Waiting it out isn’t likely to speed up your recovery. If you want to get back in the game as quickly as possible, you should also seek out injury care as soon as possible. Don’t downplay your injury or convince yourself you’re healed when you aren’t.

MISTAKE: Being Afraid to Make Injury Worse
There’s no question that you do need to take it easy following an injury and give your body enough time to heal. You certainly shouldn’t push yourself during this recovery process. But once you get the go-ahead from your physician, you shouldn’t be so afraid that you stop training entirely. The reality is that if you completely cease your training, your recovery process will likely take longer (depending on the circumstances). Be sure to follow your doctors’ orders, modify your training, and pursue any physical therapy your team recommends.

When an athlete gets hurt, the biggest mistake they can make is to not address their injuries right away. By seeking out injury care at your local walk in clinic, you’ll receive the diagnosis and subsequent treatment you need. The sooner you can tackle your recovery, the sooner you’ll be able to get back on the field, court, water, beach, or ice.

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