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Injured Professional Athletes Returning to Play Too Soon

When professional athletes are injured, whether during a game or practice session, there is a lot of pressure to return to the game quickly. Lost playing time means lost money and possible wins.

Healing after a disabling injury can take a lot of time, more time than many pro ball players are able or willing to take to adequately recover from their injuries. Pressure from other players, coaches and team owners add to the desire of the individual player to get off the bench and back in the action.

However, returning to the field, diamond, track, court or rink prematurely can cause more damage to the player than his or her original injury. Every day, the news reveals numerous cases of setbacks, exacerbations, re-injuries and flare-ups with many pro athletes. A slower return to active play may be the best advice for athletes of all ages and playing levels.

Pain at the point of injury usually signifies that a player is not yet fully healed. Use of cortisone shots or other types of injections may mask the pain, making it appear the player is ready to return. Unfortunately, cortisone shots are only short-term solutions and do not heal the actual cause of the pain, the injured part of the body.

Team trainers and doctors are getting smarter, especially when it comes to concussions and other brain injuries, but each injured player is urged to be smart about his or her return to the game; the player is the one who suffers most by returning too quickly.

Source: CBS, “Injured Baseball Players Continue To Return To Action Prematurely,” Abby Sims, Sept. 5, 2012

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