When Should You See A Doctor For A Fitness-Related Injury?
As wonderful as fitness can be, there are inevitable drawbacks to contend with – and injury is far and away the most problematic. Injuries can not only cause pain and discomfort in and of themselves, but the need to rest until you have fully recovered can harm your progress when it comes to meeting your fitness goals.
Thankfully, many injuries can be prevented to a degree; wearing supports, always keeping your workouts reasonable, and following good form and practice can all help to prevent the worst happening. However, most people who regularly engage in fitness will inevitably suffer a few injuries along the way. When these injuries occur, many people find themselves wondering if or when they should visit a doctors’ practice such as CBD Medical to discuss the injury and access treatment – but ascertaining when medical intervention is required is trickier than you may initially think.
The need to visit A&E
First and foremost, it’s important we outline the instances in which you should seek immediate treatment for your injury:
- The skin is broken or there is significant bleeding
- You suspect a bone may be broken
- You cannot bear weight (for lower injuries)
- You are experiencing numbness or a loss of sensation to the limb
- The pain you are experiencing is severe enough to impact your ability to go about usual daily activities
If you experience any of the above in the immediate aftermath of an injury, then a visit to A&E is highly recommended.
If an injury does not require emergency treatment, then you can usually attempt to rehabilitate the issue yourself. Consider using the R.I.C.E treatment plan, with a particular emphasis on rest, and monitor the progress of recovery. You can also take over-the-counter pain medication to manage any discomfort you are experiencing, though always check the medication you choose is suitable, especially if you are taking prescribed medication; any pharmacist should be able to guide you further in this regard.
In most cases, you can expect to see signs that the injury is healing within a week – swelling will begin to go down, pain will lessen, and any bruising will begin to reduce. If you don’t see noticeable signs of improvement, then visiting a doctor – even if it is just to confirm that you’re doing the right things in terms of recovery – is usually the best course of action.
The physiotherapist option
Often, people choose to visit a GP first and foremost to discuss any injuries you sustain as a result of your fitness regime; this is generally a sensible approach, especially if there is a chance that infection may be present. However, you could also consider visiting a physiotherapist as a first port of call. Your physiotherapist will then be able to make a recommendation, either suggesting that physiotherapy is the right approach for your specific injury, or by advising you visit your doctor if necessary.
Many minor injuries can be successfully self-managed, but if you are in any doubt at any time, or are concerned that your injury is not healing as expected, then speaking with a GP is always sure to be the right choice.