Ignoring sports injuries doesn't make you tough. In fact, it's likely to put your body at risk in ways that might cut your sports career short. Whether you're a serious athlete or just an amateur dabbler, it's important to take all your injuries seriously. A sports medicine doctor can diagnose and treat sports injuries and offer suggestions that can help you safeguard yourself from future injuries. Here are a few common complaints that you can take to your sports medicine doctor:

1. Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome is sometimes known colloquially as simply "carpal tunnel." This syndrome can affect athletes or anyone else who performs repetitive motions with their hands on a regular basis. Internal swelling can narrow the carpal tunnel inside your wrist, causing nerves to become impinged. Your doctor will take x-rays of your wrists to diagnose carpal tunnel. Mild cases can be managed using wrist braces, ice, NSAIDs, and rest. If your carpal tunnel syndrome doesn't show improvement over time, you may require surgery to correct it.

2. Sore Knees

Sore knees can be a symptom of a variety of sports injuries. If you experience soreness during a workout or a sports game, it's best to stop what you're doing immediately, so you don't worsen any existing damage. If your soreness doesn't go away after applying ice and resting, you should consult with a sports medicine doctor. Sore knees may be a sign that you're performing certain weight-bearing exercises with improper form. It can also be a sign of a pulled or torn tendon.

Your sports medicine doctor can tape your knee to reduce its movement, which may provide enough stability to help your knee heal. Physical therapy can rest can also help people recover from many mild to moderate knee injuries. In severe cases, arthroscopic surgery may be necessary to replace a damaged knee.

3. Tennis Elbow

You might think that only tennis players can get tennis elbow, but that isn't the case. Tennis elbow is a condition where inflammation occurs in the tendons and muscles that surround your elbow. Any sport that involves repetitive bending of your elbow joint can cause this condition. Sports medicine doctors can examine your elbow and recommend a brace that will alleviate your discomfort. Taking anti-inflammatory medication and resting can keep you from continuing to injure yourself while your elbow heals. Many patients find that physical therapy can be beneficial as well.