If you're a pro athlete & getting paid millions of dollars, you're expected to learn to play with pain. I really don't know when that started but it's still not smart.
Look at the series of injuries that culminated in Derrick Roses's torn ACLU. Minor injories can become worse or recur because athletes don't back off when they're hurt. I like to call the opposite approach "intelligent rest". It's not an exact science, & evaluating the injury & setting expectations & time frames requires some thinking. This can be tough to do because the pressure is always on-- from coaches, parents, teams & the athletes themselves.
The delemma is one of sports medicine's greatest challenges--how to get the athlete back into action without really enough time to heal.
What's alarming is how often this same "no time off" philosophy is applied to youth sports. The more serious the sport, the more difficult it is to get enough rest & recovery. Today, many sports are year round, factoring in club & school seasons. If it is the off season, there are always sports conditioning & weight training activities.
Specialization at younger & younger ages is amosite the norm now. Not surprisingly, some overuse problems or injuries are the result of too much repetitive motion. One of the great ironies in pro, college, & top level amateur sports is that, while athletes often get the best care, they almost never get enough healing & recovery time. Of course, very few of us are pro, or even close to high level athletes, but the need for proper rest & recovery time is important.
Recreational athletes who do aerobic, running, resistance & strength exercises often fall into the same mistake patterns.-- engaging in more activity more often with greater intensity than they should. The key is to listen to your body. If you're constantly tired or dealing with pain or soreness, you need to back off. Reduce the amount & intensity of the workout & allow things to calm down.
For example, if you're a runner who experiences pain, be a walker for a few weeks or so. If problems persist, see someone who can evaluate the problem & recommend a solution. If a young athlete complains of or displays persistent pain or discomfort, the parents need to step in & prescribe some "intelligent rest". Seek out a diagnosis, treatment & sensible guidelines for a return to action from a sports dr. Or therapist.
Proper amounts of rest & recovery are essential keys to injury prevention & enhanced performance.
As I've mentioned often, many persistent, recurring lower extremity problems are foot type & mechanics related, so if that describes you or your youngster, check it out!
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