Friday, August 28, 2015

Knowing When NOT To Play With Pain

Every athlete at some point in their playing days has had to make the decision whether to play through through an injury.  Sometimes it's a relatively mild injury and it's really playing through the pain without significant risk of further aggravation or additional injury.  Sometimes the injury is more severe or the severity is unknown for whatever reason.

In professional sports, players are expected to play through an injury.  As fans we think about the money these players make and somehow equate that to a requirement to play hurt.  In reality though, a pro player who injuries themselves further could seriously and even permanently affect their career.  So from the players perspective, the smart move is really to stay out and recover properly.

Then why do the vast majority of pros play anyway?  I'm sure there is a certain amount of peer pressure and the expectation that they should.  But even if those factors were gone, I believe many of them would make the same choice...and for the same reason all athletes will play through an injury.  The drive to compete.

At what point then do we stop doing this?  How do we know when further injury is almost certain to happen or that the risk of more serious injury is too high to ignore?  While is no rock-solid guideline to follow, the first step is to seek medical attention to access the actual injury.  

Many injuries have symptoms that could easily be confused as something completely different.  And not every injury will exhibit every symptom.  Make sure you know what's wrong initially before making any plans to continue training or competing.  Sometimes the smart thing to do is resist that temptation to get out there anyway and play through it.  Taking adequate time to heal will certainly improve your next performance and could even lengthen your athletic career significantly!

Therefore, in summation, despite several nagging start time is 8:15 tomorrow morning.  File this one under "do as I say, not as I do".  Video Saturday at 6pm.

Have you played through an injury?
Share your story here.

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