What is injuries (general)?

How do you return to activity after an injury?

Slowly ease back into normal activity so you don't injure yourself again. A reinjury can be harder to heal than an original injury.

If you are getting back into a sport, do it step by step. A trainer or physical therapist can help you do this safely. Start with short, easy movements or workouts. Then slowly add more over time.

  • Warm up before and stretch after the activity.
  • Stop what you're doing if it hurts.
  • When you're done, use ice to prevent pain and swelling.

It may help to make some changes. For example, if a sport caused tendon pain, try another one for a while. If using a tool causes pain, change your grip or use the other hand.

How can you help an injury heal?

You can speed up healing by avoiding movements that make it worse. It's also important to follow your doctor's instructions.

  • Ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Put ice or a cold pack on the area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time to ease pain. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
  • If your doctor gave you a splint, a pair of crutches, or a sling, use it exactly as directed.

Physical or occupational therapy can help you learn how to move in new ways and to recover from an injury. If you are given exercises to do, ease into them. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off an exercise if you start to have pain. When you have a routine of exercises, do them as often and as long as prescribed.

While you heal, it also helps to keep the rest of your body moving. A physical therapist can suggest other exercises or ways of doing things to keep up your strength and energy.

Activity after an injury: When to call

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your symptoms are getting worse.
  • You have new symptoms, such as numbness or weakness.
  • You do not get better as expected.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.