Can I Workout After a Sports Injury?

A sports injury can hinder your ability to perform well – or even at all. Unfortunately, sports injuries happen and can cause pain and discomfort. When should you push through the pain and when should you rest? Sometimes pushing through and playing might be okay, but keep reading on why resting to heal might be necessary. 

What is a Sport Injury?

There is no one specific injury that is caused by sports. However, sports injuries have the ability to hinder your goals and your ability to stay healthy. Though there is no one injury specifically caused by sports, the most common injuries we see due to athletics are:

  • Sprains and strains: these are injuries to the ligaments, muscles, or tendons. It’s commonly marked by swelling, weakness, and decreased mobility. 
  • Inflammatory injuries: these are conditions like tendonitis, fasciitis, and bursitis. Inflammatory conditions are noted by inflammation of joints, tendons, or tissues.
  • Dislocations: this happens when a bone pops out of the joint and becomes misaligned.
  • Fractures: this isn’t a full broken bone, but a small crack or break.
  • Muscle cramps: These are marked by painful contractions in the muscles, also known as spasms. 
  • Contusions: This happens when an injury causes bleeding into a tissue, turning the skin blue and black. 

If you suffer a sports injury, it’s important to get it treated quickly so you can get healthy again. If left untreated, injuries can become chronic, harder to heal, and more. 

Common Symptoms

Symptoms of sports injuries vary from person to person and can show up differently in everyone. The most common indicators of an athletic injury are:

  • Sudden pain after a fall or force of impact
  • Swelling and inflammation
  • Not able to put weight on leg or foot
  • Extreme tenderness in arm, elbow, wrist, or hand
  • Pain while exercising 
  • Dull aches while resting 

Injuries can take anywhere from a week to months to heal, all depending on how diligent you are about resting and taking care of yourself.

Muscle Fatigue and Soreness

An injury is different than just being sore after a hard workout. Being sore after a tough workout or game is normal. This is due to putting stress on the muscles. Muscle soreness, also referred to as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is normal. In most cases, athletes will become sore within 8 hours after an activity. You’re most likely to experience muscle soreness after a new activity, increasing intensity of exercise, or overusing the muscle without an adequate amount of rest.

You can expect muscle soreness to last up to 72 hours after exercise. 

When Can You Push Through the Pain?

Athletes are motivated to go, go, go constantly and continue pushing through the pain. If you have one of the symptoms above, though, you might need to wait before playing again. 

When sore muscles are your only symptom, you can continue to work out. However, we recommend that you do so strategically. If a hard leg day leaves your legs sore, focus on other muscle groups to give the legs a break for a day or two. 

After a workout, if you are experiencing pain that makes even doing simple tasks like showering or getting out of bed hard, you shouldn’t be working out. Continuing to work out on injuries can delay full healing for longer amounts of time. Seeing your doctor after injury can help make sure that you’re not further straining the hurt bone or muscle. 

Treating Sports Injuries 

At Interventional Pain Associates, we look at your injury in depth and create a treatment plan catered towards your specific problem. Common treatment for sports injuries can include:

  • Physical therapy: yes, this is still exercises, however it’s gentle stretching and moving that will help repair damage to get the muscles back to normal.
  • Interventional procedures: using techniques like steroid therapy, spinal cord stimulation, anesthetic medicine injections, targeted drug delivery systems, stem cell injections, PRP, and steroid injections you can relieve the pain without having to rely on heavy painkillers.
  • Medication management: Dr. Saleemi will review with you all recommended medications to help reduce inflammation and manage your pain. 

Make an Appointment

We will work with you one-on-one no matter how severe or painful your sports injury is. With treatment programs centered around holistic and long-term healing, we’ll help you regain full function of your muscles to get you back to playing your sports in no time. Request an appointment today