Be tough. Suck it up. You can rest later.
These are all things that athletes often hear when they are experiencing pain during sporting events. Coaches and trainers all have the responsibility to listen to what athletes are saying about the pain they’re experiencing, and with that responsibility comes the need to act. When athletes play and train through their pain, small problems progressively get much and much worse until they are serious.
So what should athletes do when they begin to experience pain that won’t seem to go away?
First, stop playing as soon as an injury is identified.
The athlete should see a doctor and continue to rest until the injury is fully healed and the doctor gives the go-ahead to continue playing. Athletes run into problems when they begin to feel a bit better. A big game or event will tempt them to jump back in before they really should. Athletes should adhere to the timeline recommended by the doctor so that an injury doesn’t turn into chronic pain or problems.
Second, continue to condition your body.
Need a way to prevent injury from occurring in the first place? Experts recommend low-impact conditioning. A good athletic trainer will be able to recommend preventative exercises depending on the sports that the athlete participates in. As we build up the weaker areas of our bodies, we mitigate the chances of sustaining injury.
If an injury has already been sustained, consult an expert about strengthening and conditioning exercises that can be performed so that the athlete’s body can heal and grow stronger.