Athlete? Here's Why You Shouldn't Play Through Knee Pain

Athlete? Here's Why You Shouldn't Play Through Knee Pain

As athletes, you may pride yourself on your resilience, but resilience shouldn't include pushing through pain and discomfort to achieve your goals. While resilience is beneficial in certain situations, ignoring or playing through knee pain can have serious consequences and hinder your long-term performance. 

Our team of providers at International Spine, Pain & Performance Center are no strangers when it comes to sports injuries, including sports-related knee pain. Whether you have nagging knee pain or a serious throbbing ache, don't hesitate to visit us in Washington, D.C., or Arlington, Virginia, to get the care you need.

In the meantime, let's examine why you shouldn't play through knee pain.

Ignoring pain leads to a delay in diagnosis

Knee pain can originate from various causes, such as overuse injuries, ligament damage, meniscus tears, or patellofemoral syndrome. Attempting to diagnose the source of knee pain with professional medical guidance can be challenging (if possible) and may lead to incorrect self-treatment. In other words, ignoring pain postpones getting an accurate diagnosis and treatment. 

If you have knee pain, our International Spine Pain & Performance Center team will provide you with an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan to get the relief you need.

Playing through pain can lead to additional injuries

Playing through knee pain can exacerbate the underlying problem and increase the risk of sustaining more severe injuries. Continuously placing stress on an injured knee joint can lead to additional damage to the ligaments, cartilage, or tendons. What initially might have been a minor issue could escalate into a more significant and long-lasting condition, potentially requiring surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation period.

Delaying treatment can impact your performance

Ignoring knee pain can significantly impact your athletic performance. Even if you manage to play through the pain temporarily, your movements may alter, affecting your technique and efficiency. Compensation patterns can lead to imbalances in other body parts, increasing the risk of injuries in different areas. Not to mention, the pain itself can be distracting, hindering your focus and reducing your overall enjoyment of the sport.

It's better to pause, focus on healing your knee, and then work back to safe re-entry into your sport.

Ignoring pain can have lasting effects

Left untreated, knee injuries can have long-term consequences on your athletic career and quality of life. For example, post-traumatic osteoarthritis may develop in your knee if the original injury isn't addressed correctly. Post-traumatic osteoarthritis can cause chronic pain, limited mobility, and reduced athletic capabilities. 

By seeking professional medical care here at International Spine, Pain & Performance Center early on, you can mitigate the risk of long-term complications and ensure a more prosperous and prolonged athletic journey.

Prompt treatments mean you can get started with rehabilitation and recovery  

Proper rehabilitation and recovery are crucial for a full and successful return to sports after a knee injury. Resting, following your personalized treatment plan, and engaging in targeted physical therapy can strengthen your knee joint, promote healing, and prevent future issues. 

Knee pain? We can help!

As athletes, you must prioritize your long-term health and well-being over short-term gains. Knee pain should never be dismissed or ignored, as it can lead to severe consequences that may jeopardize our athletic careers and overall quality of life. 

Our orthopedic experts carefully consider your medical history, symptoms, and functional limitations to develop a personalized approach that addresses your needs and goals. Depending on what's causing your knee pain, we may recommend the following:

Remember, caring for your body today lays the foundation for a healthier, more fulfilling athletic future. To explore your knee pain treatments, call the International Spine, Pain, & Performance Center location of your choice to schedule your appointment.

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