If you're participating in a heavy contact sport such as hockey or football, it can be only a matter of time before you take a heavy hit during a play. While most people would just tell you to walk it off and you'll be fine, many sports injuries aren't always immediately apparent.
If you take a heavy hit out on the field, don't try to jump right back into the fray. Don't even try to get to your feet right away, just take a moment to get your bearings. Making sudden movements while injured could make your injuries worse, so start with slow gentle motions as you sit back up, and eventually get to your feet. If you feel intense pain anywhere as you try to move, stop immediately and seek medical attention.
Evaluate the Damage
Once you've got your bearings and can get a better sense of your condition, do a quick self-assessment. The first thing to make note of is if you feel any pain more severe than the expected aches from taking a hit. Even if there isn't explicit pain, also make note of any limbs that are difficult to move or if anything feels particularly out of place. Next, check for signs of a concussion. If you feel lightheaded, blurry vision, ringing in the ears, nausea, feelings of confusion or being in a fog, memory loss, or sensitivity to light and noise, it could be a sign you may be suffering from a concussion.
The signs of a concussion are not always obvious, so you should keep an eye out. Signs of a concussion aren't always immediate either and can start to surface weeks after an injury. If you feel like your injuries could be more severe than some bumps and bruises, seek medical attention immediately.
Be Attentive to Your Symptoms
The most important thing to keep in mind when taking a hard hit on the field is that symptoms of your injury may not be immediately apparent. With the rush of adrenaline from pushing yourself to the limit while playing combined with the added rush in response to the hit, adrenaline can have an almost numbing effect on the body, helping you push through pain in a fight or flight situation.
Be attentive to your body and how you feel for at least a week after taking the hit, as it can take time for the adrenaline to clear your system, and some moderate injuries may only flare up under certain stresses like moving a certain way. Always seek medical treatment if you feel like you have more than just a few scrapes and bruises after taking a hit or if something just feels off after the hit.
Getting hit hard on the field can have debilitating consequences. Thankfully, there are things like these that you can do to lessen the effects of your injuries. By taking the right steps after a serious sports injury, you can make sure that they don’t impact your life too much.
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