Injuries can come in a multitude of ways, shapes and forms. Once it happens, the first thought may be — is my injury serious?
Injuries may occur from trauma e.g., getting tackled in sport. This is what we would call direct injuries.
An indirect injury may be the result of internal force within the body such as stretching your leg in an unnatural way, maybe you ran abnormally and pulled your hamstring.
None the less we know injuries can happen.
So how do we know if their serious?
Try looking out for these potential signs.
- You can’t weight bare – a big one to indicate the degree of seriousness is the fact that you can’t put pressure on the area! If it’s your ankle, it may be difficult to walk, if it’s your hand you may not be able to squeeze an object or move it.
- You have significant pain, swelling or discolouration – Generally this will be seen to a small degree with soft tissue injuries such as a sprain, strain or bruise. However, if pain presents that is leading to you being unable to sleep or engage in your normal daily activities it may be a sign of something more serious!
- You can’t move! If you’ve lost dramatic range of motion, wince at the thought of moving the area or have numbness and noticeable weakness in the area then go and get yourself checked!
Those long-standing injuries such as tendonitis, Osgood-Schlatter, Sever’s disease, shin splits, spondylolysis, bursitis and fasciitis to name a few may fall outside of the previous mentioned signs above. In any case, if you have a long-standing issue it’s time to get yourself checked!
Injury can lead to compensation, that means we may recruit other areas to complete the same task. For example, If I have pain in say my elbow joint on the inside or outside, this is commonly referred to as an overuse injury. The result though of overuse comes from other structures such as your wrist, shoulder / shoulder blade and even your ribcage. To address this sort of issue and prevent further injuries around the arm you want to correct your movement patterns, work on how you perform your everyday tasks that lead to pain and strengthen the surrounding tissues.
What do we do once we’ve had a serious injury or chronic injuries?
- Go and see a qualified practitioner! This may be a physio, osteo, chiro and they will be able to help you manage the swelling, provide some short-term relief through massage, adjustments or bracing.
- From there go see an exercise physiologist, they will be able to assess you, develop a tailored program to your needs, strengthen the tissue and surrounding structures to rehabilitate you back into whatever activity you are aiming for!
- An exercise physiologist is capable of assisting your injuries ranging from the sub-acute to the chronic injuries and health conditions.
In my experience, people won’t make a change until the pain of not changing, outweighs the pain of changing. This generally occurs when you’ve had pain for a decent period of time and get over it.
However, if you treat the area early, you may avoid and prevent further aches and pains from popping up so instead of waiting until that pain grows. Do something today!
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