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by Adam Brown  BScPT, MClScPT
updated Feb 26, 2024

Whether a serious athlete or a weekend warrior, eventually we all experience some pain from participating in sport. Sometimes this pain is a clue that you need to take a step back and go into ‘recovery mode’, and at other times you may be able to play on without risk of further injury. Making this decision can be confusing and difficult. Wherever possible consult with your physiotherapist and physician if you have concerns. Here are some things to consider when deciding if you can stay in the game.


1) Does the pain stop when you do?

If you feel mild pain or discomfort when doing an activity that immediately stops when you stop the activity, and does not hurt later in the day, it is a reasonable indicator that you can play through.


2) The morning after test

If you awaken the next day feeling great. No pain, no swelling, no problem. The first few minutes in the morning are a good indicator for how the activities of the day before have affected you. If you are feeling stiffness, pain or swelling at this time, it is your body’s way of telling you that you have done too much, and if you keep pushing through it – it will get progressively worse.


3) Have you lost a step?

When you are out there doing your chosen activity can you do it to the best of your ability? Or is your brain telling you to take it down a notch. Your risk of injury goes way up if you are trying to alter the way you play in order to prevent an injury, so listen to that little voice in your head!


If you are still unsure – a proper assessment by one of our physiotherapists will help you to determine if you should be playing, or taking a brief break to heal to avoid more serious injury.
Contact us today and get us on your team.

About the author

Adam Brown

Co-founder, Physiotherapist Learn More about Adam Brown

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