I remember chanting “NO PAIN, NO GAIN” before soccer matches in high school. While it got our team hyped up to play, we were actually shouting one of the most common sport’s myths and creating an environment in which athletes feel pressured to push through the pain. Spoiler alert: sports should not be painful and delaying treatment could worsen an injury and hinder an athlete’s performance on the field. We dive into this and some of the other most common sports injury myths below. Our goal is to debunk these myths to help prevent sports injuries, but if you do sustain an injury on the field (unfortunately, they cannot all be avoided), ORTHOKnox has a team of sports medicine specialists in Knoxville, TN, and Athens, TN, to help diagnose and treat sports injuries.
Most Common Sports Injury Myths:
- No pain, no gain
There is a difference between muscle burn from exertion while exercising and feeling pain. Sports should not be painful. Many patients or parents of patients report that they have a “high pain tolerance” and are able to play through the pain. This attitude could cause an athlete to worsen an injury and endure unnecessary pain. If sports are a priority (and understandable if they are), it is actually best to seek treatment if you or your child experiences pain on the field. The sooner treatment is started, the sooner an athlete will be back on their A-game on the field.
- Strong muscles will prevent injury
First, strengthening muscles is a good thing because strong muscles help relieve pressure on your joints. But strengthening exercises alone will not prevent all injuries. Make sure to incorporate conditioning, flexibility, and sport specific training to better prevent injuries.
- If you can move it, then it is not serious
You may be able to rotate your arm or bend your knee and only experience a dull throbbing pain rather than a sharp pain. This could still indicate a serious injury, such as an overuse injury or a fracture positioned so that it results in minimal pain and swelling. These injuries should still be treated so they do not worsen.
- You just need rest
You may have heard that “rest is best.” While not untrue, it would be more accurate as “rest is best, along with rehabilitation exercises and sometimes surgery if needed.” It doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, but movement during the healing process helps your injured limb recover. A physical therapist can help you increase your range of motion, improve your flexibility, and strengthen your muscles. Following your prescribed exercise regime, along with resting, will ensure you are ready to return to your sport.
- Repetition leads to perfection
It may sound ideal that a baseball pitcher would practice the same pitch over and over, but in some cases, too much practice does not make perfect. It leads to overuse injuries.
- Ankle sprains will go away with time
Ankle sprains are the most common sports injury. But even though they occur so often, they will usually not heal on their own. You will want to see your doctor if you have ankle pain. Your doctor will determine if you have a fracture, ligament trauma (sprain), or other injury and begin the appropriate treatment so you can recover and return to your sport as soon as possible.
How do I get treatment for a sports injury?
ORTHOKnox has clinics in Knoxville, TN, and Athens, TN, and offers sports medicine, including consultations, surgical treatments with arthroscopy, and on-site physical therapy. With its board-certified surgeon and Orthopedic Urgent Care that is available without an appointment, ORTHOKnox has got you covered. For more information about how ORTHOKnox can treat your sports injury, call (865) 251-3030, or fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you!