Sports Injuries
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Director of MUSC's Sports Medicine Program, Dr. David Geier, offers advice on how to determine if and when an athlete would need to seek medical attention.

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Rebecca Fox icyou Dr. David Geier Director, MUSC Sports Medicine Rebecca: Whether it’s on the golf course with friends or playing in the big game, millions of Americans experience sports injuries each year knowing what to do after the fact can help you prevent further damage so you can get back to the activity you love sooner. Welcome to icyou on topic. In our studio today is David Geier an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist. Thank you so much for being here and I just want to jump right into it. It’s seems like no matter how much our coaches or trainers warned us there’s always that athlete who plays through a sports injury. What are the signs and symptoms of an injury that would require us to indicate when you see a doctor? Dr. David: I think it’s always difficult to know when for sure when the right time to go to see a physician. You know maybe 6 weeks of pain or may 6 months you never really know but I think the things to really look out for are pain or not just pain necessarily but some kind of symptom like a locking or catching in the knee or some kind of loose feeling in the shoulder that is limiting your ability to play. Not necessarily keeping you out of playing but you might not be able to pitch as hard or get your locations right or you may have trouble running up hills any symptom that’s limiting your ability to do what you want to do and limit your ability to do it as well as you want to do I think that’s the reasonable indication to go see somebody that treats a lot of sports injuries. Rebecca: Are there any injuries that’s okay to play through? Dr. David: I think there, I think it’s all a matter of severity, I mean you can have really bad muscle injuries that you just can’t go it all then you can have all muscle and strains that aren’t so bad same thing goes with ankle sprains and some of the more mild injuries that maybe sore but they’re not necessarily bad. The thing that’s hard for the average you know runner or basketball player, football player is knowing what’s good pain and what’s bad pain. Typically soreness is not such a big deal but sharp really uncomfortable pains or pain that is getting worse as you go on as you increase the distance that you’ve been doing it with the time you’ve been doing it that’s typically worrisome. Rebecca: What are some common first aid strategies to deal with minor injuries. Dr. David: I think the simple things. I think that we all know that these components, the acronyms not as well known except for maybe trainers but we talk about rest, ice, compression and elevation and what that means essentially is rest essentially getting off of your injured foot or ankle if you sprain your ankle or if you hurt your arm not throwing or not trying to climb. Ice and anything, ice is everybody’s best friend and on the initial side to try to get the swelling down. Compression within reason trying to use like an A span or things like that to try and minimize the swelling and elevation the same type of thing if you got a sprained ankle or something and get it lay down and get it your ankle and your foot above the level of your heart to get the swelling down. That’s a good start and if you know over 24 to 48 hours most symptoms go away then slowly work your way back in activity. The problem comes when it’s not significantly better than you know do you do something do you give it more time that’s where it gets a little trickier. Rebecca: What about the pain what are some good ways to handle the pain and are some over-the-counter medicines better than others? Dr. David: I think that at least in the short term anti-inflammatory medicines like Advil or Aleeve or those types of medications are a good starting point. I think again, usually the problem is whatever body part it is, it typically swells so the anti-inflammatory in theory try to minimize swelling. Tylenol is a good pain reliever, it doesn’t have much of an anti- inflammatory fixed so typically that doesn’t work as well. The trick with anti-inflammatory is you know people with history of ulcers and heartburn that kind of thing probably can’t tolerate anti- inflammatories as well and you have to watch out the cumulative effects and long term effects. There are risks to even over-the-counter medicines but I think that is where I would start is something like an Advil or Aleeve. Rebecca: And when in doubt consult your doctor? Dr. David: And I remember ice is your best friend, no heat, you make sure ice is a good thing but definitely if its not getting better you have something that deals with a lot of sports injuries as probably the next step. Rebecca: Alright thank you so much for this advice for these tips. Dr. David: Thank you. Rebecca: Thank you for being here and you can watch more videos about sports medicine on icyou.com for icyou on topic, I’m Rebecca Fox. ICYOU Find thousands of health videos at icyou.com