I'm literally typing with hunt and peck, and getting ready to head out to the Emergency Room (ER) as I produce this episode. Lot's of good information here about soccer injuries, but I don't have a lot of time to chat this week. I'm taking my own soccer injury to the doctor this AM.
I should have been seen last week when the injury first happened, but I fell victim to what many of us do: I had a game to coach. My team "needed me." And I put my injury aside - hoping it would go away.
My injury didn't go away. My hand grew fetter and uglier with bruising all week. Pain hung on and I continued to "tough it out." What a goof!
Yes! I know it takes an average of five hours to get through the Emergency Room. No, I don't like using the emergency room if I can help it. Two kinds of people use the Emergency Room, I've told myself over and over again: those who really need it - in which case, GREAT! And those who don't need it, like to whine about little things, or are trying to get around the regular scheduling system.
I committed long ago to not being one of the latter types of people. As a former emergency medical technician and Navy Corpsman, I saw many of each kind of person, and I thought the latter type was a strain on the system and frankly a pain in the butt. My pendulum swung wide the other way, and today, I need to be dying or getting ready to lose a limb to go to the ER. I became a really bad patient.
Taking a Preventative Approach
I'm still not a fan of using the Emergency Room as an outpatient clinic, but I do think its usefulness extends beyond life threatening crisis. There are times when we're just not sure about something. An injury could be minor - and hopefully it is, but it could be something else.
If the something else could turn into something that needs much more aggressive treatments (like surgery or hard core antibiotics), and if the clock is ticking - in other words, things could get worse if we put them off - then the prudent thing to do may be to get checked out.
My own visit to the ER fell into the latter category. At first, I thought my thumb injury was something simple like a strain. A splint and some TLC over time would give me a full recovery. As the swelling went down and I saw anatomical structures in places where they should not be, It dawned on me... maybe I dislocated my knuckle or broke something. If I let this go and it heals in that position, I will lose mobility permanently unless I get surgery to correct it. The next ortho appointment I can get will be in 2-3 weeks... I better get checked out.
Many injuries we see on a soccer field are like this. It often makes good sense to treat an injury with first aid, monitor it for a while, and seek medical attention if something doesn't look right as it heals. Other injuries, like potential concussions, need to be seen by medical professionals right away - even if we don't see any obvious evidence of injury when it happens.
Obviously, there is a wide spectrum of circumstances that have to be taken into account with each injury, but my point is this: consider a preventative approach in your thinking. Sometimes, "ruling out" something more serious and preventing an injury from getting worse is worth the effort of going to see your doctor - even if it turns out the injury was minor and will heal itself.
- Advanced Solutions International, Inc. “Preventing Soccer Injuries.” Statistics, www.stopsportsinjuries.org/STOP/STOP/Prevent_Injuries/Soccer_Injury_Prevention.aspx.
- Quinn, Elizabeth. “The Most Common Soccer Injuries.” Verywell Fit, Verywellfit, www.verywellfit.com/common-soccer-injuries-3120651.
- Drdavidgeier. “Soccer Injury: Six of the Most Common Injuries Soccer Players Suffer.” Dr. David Geier - Sports Medicine Simplified, Dr David Geier, 3 Nov. 2018, www.drdavidgeier.com/common-soccer-injuries/.
- Ready, Game. “Game Ready Blog.” Top Physical Therapy Trends of the New Year, blog.gameready.com/blog/what-are-the-most-common-injuries-in-soccer.