Jeffrey Macalena, MD, and David Jewison, MD, from the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery are experts on sports injury treatment and recovery. Whether you’re playing in the big game, or cheering in the crowd, knowing what to do when faced with an injury can keep you in the action and off of the bench.  

First things first, they say: A healthy balance of activity and rest is critically important to injury prevention.

“Life is all about balance, whether that’s physical balance or mental balance,” says Dr. Jewison. “A lot of times when people develop injuries, it has to do with an imbalance of how often they’re participating in their sport or other activity. Unfortunately, we often have those conversations after someone is already dealing with an injury.”

If you're an athlete and your injury occurs on the field, sports medicine doctors are particularly positioned to offer valuable insight.

“We are familiar with the rigors of being an athlete and the specific stresses that are placed upon their bodies,” Macalena says. “We understand the context of the season and that the treatment for an injury during the preseason or off-season may be different than during the playoffs.”

Wherever an injury happens, take steps to address the issue, starting with taking a break from your activities. Continuing to be active could make the situation worse.

“For example, if someone has a knee problem, and they start favoring the opposite leg, they could create a back problem,” says Dr. Jewison. “The sooner you get more information about your injury, the sooner you can make healthy choices for yourself.”

Learn more about the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Drs. Macalena and Jewison also offer clinical care in the University of Minnesota Health Sports and Orthopaedics Walk-In Clinic.