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Why You Should Never Play Through Pain

Why You Should Never Play Through Pain

Every year, millions of athletes of all ages and all levels sustain sports-related injuries. And, unfortunately, many of those athletes get some pretty bad advice: Play through the pain, grin and bear it, suck it up, and pain makes you stronger.

The problem: While some pain may go away on its own with a little TLC, plenty of pain is associated with serious underlying problems. If you take any of that advice and delay medical care, you could wind up with a more serious injury in the near future.

Here at Pacific Sports and Spine, our team focuses on sports injury treatment tailored to each athlete’s unique needs, as well as the demands of their sport. 

If you have pain of any type during practice, warmup, or regular daily activities, here’s why you shouldn’t ignore it and why you should schedule an evaluation with us right away.

It could be more serious than you think

When you want to get someone’s attention, you tap them on the shoulder or raise your voice to draw their attention. Your body doesn’t have those options, so it uses pain as a way to let you know that something’s not right. 

By ignoring pain, you also could be ignoring a really clear signal that your body is ailing or injured in some way. 

As an athlete — even a seasoned one — there’s no way to know for sure if the symptoms you’re experiencing are associated with a little overexertion that may resolve on its own or if there’s something more serious going on. 

Getting prompt medical care is the best way to stay healthy and keep enjoying the activities you love.

It could become more serious than you think

Even if your pain isn’t associated with a current serious medical problem, it could quickly turn into a more serious problem that could keep you sidelined for a long time if you continue to play without seeking medical care. 

Some seemingly minor issues can lead to long-term disability that can interfere not just with your sports activities, but with your daily activities, too.

Early medical care gives us an opportunity to fully evaluate your condition. We look at your current symptoms, as well as the underlying issue and how it might evolve over time. That way, we can tailor your care to your immediate needs and your future needs.

Conservative treatments can have side effects, too

Many people with sports-related pain turn to medications to help dull the pain and relieve at least some associated inflammation. But pain medicines can have some pretty serious side effects when you take them for a long period of time.

Most everyone knows that prescription pain medicines are often associated with increased risks of abuse, addiction, and overdose. But they can also cause long-term problems with your kidneys or liver, the organs that metabolize (process) most of these medicines.

Over-the-counter pain medicines also come with some serious risks when you take them on a regular or recurrent basis. These medicines can take a toll on your kidneys and liver, along with your stomach. Plus, over time, you can wind up needing increasing amounts to keep the pain under control.

For kids, growth could be stunted

For younger athletes who are still growing, delaying medical care can have direct consequences on their growth. Bones grow from growth plates at the ends of the bones. 

Even a minor injury that disrupts this process could leave your child with stunted growth or other developmental issues that could lead to painful consequences during their adult years.

Early care can prevent future problems

Finally, when you seek early care for your painful symptoms, you give your body the support it needs to heal properly and to recover stronger than before your injury. 

In addition to physical therapy when needed, your treatment plan may include guidance and care that helps you improve your strength, flexibility, and endurance. Not only can that improve your game and your enjoyment of your sport, but it also plays a major role in preventing more injuries down the road.

Don’t ignore sports-related pain. Schedule an evaluation today at our Eugene or Roseburg, Oregon, office.

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