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Warning Signs of an Injury

   Pain, swelling, and tenderness in a joint are signs of a tough workout. Maybe one that was a bit too tough; these indicators could be the warning signs of something more serious – an injury.

Sports and physical activities at all ages allow us to maintain our fitness, health, and agility. However, unexpected injuries could sideline our future if typical warning signs are ignored. Failure to seek medical attention for ailing joints could allow for chronic problems to develop.

The following is a list of warning signs that, if intense and constant, could be trying to tell you something.

Joint Pain – Any pain in the joints of the knee, ankle, elbow, wrist, and shoulder should never be ignored. Any joint pain that lasts longer than 48 hours needs medical attention.

Tenderness at a Specific Point – If you can apply pressure to any one point on the body and extract pain, there could be a significant injury. Particularly, when you cannot replicate the same pain on the opposite side of the body.

Swelling – This can occur rather frequently, however, it only becomes problematic when it results in pain, redness, or stiffness.

Reduced Range of Motion – When a limb or joint is limited in its expected range of motion, compare it to the same joint on the opposite side of the body. If you can identify major differences consider contacting an orthopaedic specialist.

Comparative Weakness – If you cannot lift or support the same weight in both joints (i.e. arms, legs), that is an indicator that you have an injury.

Numbness and Tingling – These sensations can be attributed to nerve compression and should never be ignored. You could have a serious injury that requires immediate medical attention.

Keeping these tips in mind will help prevent you from suffering from long term injuries. Should you experience any of the above symptoms consider using the R.I.C.E treatment (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) until you can be evaluated by an orthopaedic physician.

Southern Orthopaedic Specialists is the number one sports medicine treatment provider in Atlanta. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call 770-953-6929.

September 2008

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