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Game On: Knowing When to See a Doctor for Aches, Pains

New Canaan/Darien/Rowayton Magazine share guidance on treating and avoiding injuries according to  Nicholas Sgrignoli, MD, sports medicine physician at HSS Stamford.

According to Dr. Sgrignoli, “Exercise-induced soreness is normal, but true pain that comes from an injury to a joint or tissue is not normal. In addition to injuries, pain is common among aging athletes and from degenerative joints and tendons, but it isn’t normal and should be addressed.”

He continued, “When we age we find muscles and joints become stiffer and lose elasticity in tendons which can lead to higher injury rates. I usually tell people that normal stiffness lasts for no longer than 15-20 minutes and goes away once they have loosened up. Persistent stiffness, that lasts for more than an hour in the morning, is more of a concern because it can be correlated to an inflammatory issue. Swelling, redness or warmth of joints are all also things to look out for that may be signs of a problem.”

“Loss of strength, function or the inability to put weight on joints means you want to see a doctor right away. Any injury with symptoms and pain that is getting worse after a few days you would also want to have looked at,” Dr. Sgrignoli explained.

Dr. Sgrignoli recommended incorporating a dynamic warm-up before exercise. He noted, “You are more likely to get hurt by jumping right into a sport with a cold, tight muscle. Any amount of stretching is most effective when your muscles are warm. So for a soccer player, doing lunges to activate muscles and work on lengthening as a warm up is better than just sitting down and doing a V-stretch.”

This article appeared in the March 2022 print issue.