Why athletes should listen to their bodies to avoid further, worse injury (Healthy You)

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WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — It’s the season for Friday nights under the lights, battles on the ice and weekdays spent on the volleyball court.

With it though comes the risk for injury and a former Wichita Falls athlete, who now treats those same athletes, offered her perspective.

Injury happens to the best and it takes time to recover.

“After long months of recovery and just rehab, the main goal is just getting back out there with my teammates, getting back on the field,” Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott said after his ankle injury.

“If you listen to your body, know that it’s hurting, try not to push yourself beyond that point,” United Regional Sports Medicine Physician Sarah Langston, D.O. said.

Langston knows first-hand what it means to push yourself. She’s back home in Wichita Falls now treating young athletes as a former Old High and MSU volleyball player herself.

“It really is important to become a team, however, when you are hurt it actually can hurt the other parts of the team as well, especially if you don’t take care of yourself,” Langston said. “It also can progress to worse things and it makes it where you miss whole seasons or even years of your training.”

Langston is a part of the Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Clinic which treats anything from muscles, tendons and ligaments to bones like fractures, strains and sprains.

“Some of the things that may want to bring you into the clinic would be things like a red, hot, swollen joint, something that persistently swells or acutely swells,” Langston said. “Also can’t bear weight on that injury either arm, leg, anything like that, and then basically any type of thing that doesn’t get better with conservative treatment.”

Conservative treatment she’s talking about is things athletes can do at home like rest, ice, compression, elevation and over-the-counter medications.

“A lot of people come into our office and it’s been too late and so most injuries take about four to six weeks to really get back to normal,” Langston said. “If it gives adequate rest and treatment they can get back quicker, if you don’t then it can be a whole season at play.”

Rest isn’t just for those nursing an injury.

“Even for weekend warriors, the rest period is really awesome because recommendations now that you should at least take one day off a week from all athletic activity and there are also kind of suggesting that even two to three months out of the year you should rest from that as well,” Langston said. “There can be overtraining and overuse syndromes that can cause kind of nuisance injuries that lag for a long period of time.”

The best thing student-athletes can do is take direction from their athletic trainer.

Langston adds not giving your body time to heal means compensating in other parts of your body, leading to more or worse injuries.

“Our body heals itself and it does a really good job of that, but we just have to give it ample time to do that,” Langston said.

Langston and other sports medicine physicians there provide treatments such as cast care, direct to formal therapy, home exercises and for people living with arthritis, injections.

She is now accepting new patient referrals.

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