My injury causes pain when I play sport, but I can play through it. Usually the warmer I get the less painful it becomes. However, afterwards, when I rest, it is sometimes sorer. Should I be playing through this pain or do I need to stop these possibly aggravating activities?

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One of the most effective ways to hasten the healing of a particular injury is through avoidance of aggravating activities. Generally an activity aggravates a condition if:

  1. There is pain during an activity OR
  2. There is pain upon rest following an activity OR
  3. There is pain upon waking the following morning after an activity

Usually, when pain decreases as you warm up and then increases with rest following activity, this suggests you have inflammation. Inflammation generally lasts for 48 to 72 hours following injury or injury aggravation provided the injured part is rested. Continuing to play through this is likely to cause further damage and can contribute to the development of chronic injury, reducing the likelihood of a full recovery. Usually in these circumstances, a period of rest from the aggravating activity is indicated to allow your body to begin the healing process.

Inflammatory pain is also managed effectively with an anti-inflammatory approach such as the R.I.C.E. regime and the use of anti-inflammatory medication. Your physiotherapist can guide you on which activities to avoid, how best to manage your injury, and when it is appropriate for you to return to sport or activity.

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