Most of us get our exercise knowledge from our physical education teachers and parents. Sadly, the “wisdom” they pass down often isn’t very wise at all. This is because their advice is generally not based on proven exercise science or practical knowledge in the field of sports medicine.
Treating a sports injury the wrong way can lead to longer recoveries or, even worse, chronic conditions. Here are four sports injury myths you should stop believing if you want to continue to do what you love pain free.
MYTH #1: Rest is the best medicine.
While rest is good for reducing inflammation by limiting irritation, rest alone is not enough to treat a sports injury. Pain comes from stressing soft tissue within your body, so as soon as you get back to your regular activity, you will stress the tissue again and continue to feel pain once it becomes irritated again.
To truly treat an injury, you need to identify and treat the cause of the pain, which is where The TRIFACTIVE Method™ comes in. Rather than simply resting to reduce the pain, they will work to get you back to doing what you love pain free – and you can likely continue to do what you love during the process!
MYTH #2: Orthotics can cure your knee problems.
One of the most common complaints for athletes is knee pain. It can send runners looking for new shoes or inserts that promise to solve the problem. While good support is vital for your feet, and orthotics can be helpful, they often are not the “magic bullet” Dr. Scholl’s would have you believe.
Orthotics limit motion to eliminate over-pronation, but they do not address running form or muscle imbalances that cause repetitive stress on your joints and tendons. To truly address knee pain, you need to assess the entire situation rather than trying to find a quick fix. At TRIFACTIVE®, they are professionals when it comes to treating knee pain, whether or not you need orthotics.
MYTH #3: Painkillers are a good way to work through the pain.
No one wants to let pain get in the way of doing what they love, so people often try to find ways to simply put a “band-aid” on it. It may be really tempting to stick to your training schedule by taking painkillers before a long run, which will allow you to endure the that nagging feeling in your knee around mile five. While this may help you get through your run (or workout) today, the additional damage that you can cause while not listening to your body’s cry for help is never worth it. In addition, that pain will still be waiting for you when the meds wear off. This is not a long-term solution.
It’s important to listen to your body. Muscle soreness and fatigue after a workout are to be expected, but if you are feeling real pain, there is a reason for it. Taking painkillers to mask it can lead to more problems in the long run because you’re not feeling the true effects. The best approach is to identify the problem as quickly as possible in order to minimize long-term damage and work to correct it so you can continue to do what you love without needing to mask how your body really feels.
MYTH #4: Stretching is an effective way to avoid injuries.
Yes, dynamic stretching is an important part of a warm up, but stretching itself does not always help prevent injuries. There are two types of stretches: static and dynamic. Static stretches involve elongating and holding a muscle in an “reach and hold” position for a period of time to gradually lengthen them, and dynamic stretches involve using controlled movements to increase range of movement by stimulating blood flow to the muscles being activated and lubrication to the joints you are about to use.
While both of these are important to overall performance, the idea that stretching will prevent injuries is creating a false sense of security. The only way to prevent sports injuries is to not take part, and who wants to do that? It’s best to keep your muscles balanced and strong and your body in good working condition. At TRIFACTIVE®, their goal is to keep active clients doing what they love pain free. They are happy to assess where you are currently and outline steps you can take to minimize injury, as well as improve performance.
There are, or course, other sports injury myths that haven’t been addressed here. The best way to treat an injury is to see a sports injury specialist rather than trying to treat yourself at home. If you are currently feeling even a twinge of pain or are finding it necessary to slow down on your favorite activities, contact the experts at TRIFACTIVE® and they’ll get you back to doing what you love pain free as quickly as possible.