New Injury Guidelines Recommend Wincing, Clutching Source of Pain


A national group of doctors and exercise physiologists today issued new guidelines for the treatment of sports injuries, recommending that injured athletes wince and clutch the site of the pain.

The guidelines reverse decades’ worth of advice on injury treatment, which until now had included things like ice and heat; compression; rest; and judicious use of over-the-counter pain medications.

“Yeah, none of that stuff works,” said Gavin MacLeod, president of the American Society of Sports Rehab People (ASSRP). “After looking at this issue from every possible angle, we have concluded that the single most effective approach to sports injuries is to stop, grab the body part that hurts, and wear a twisted mask of pain.”

Depending on the severity of the injury, said MacLeod, these steps may be performed while standing, crouching, sitting, or lying on the ground.

“Your body will tell you which approach is called for,” he said. “Listen to your body.”

Cursing, he added, is optional.

Doctors aren’t sure how wincing and clutching alleviates pain, but some speculate the two acts may spur the release of endorphins, “feel good” substances produced by the central nervous system and pituitary gland.

Whatever the mechanism, ASSRP is urging athletes and doctors alike to embrace the new guidelines. The group said it plans a public education campaign encouraging injured athletes to “Wince ‘n’ Clutch.”

A sheepish MacLeod also apologized “for all those years of telling people to ice and rest and stuff.”

“Ha ha,” he said. “Yeah. Sorry.”