Injuries are bad enough without adding in the fear of longer-term problems. Many people erroneously believe that once their pain goes away or they “recover” from an injury, they’re safe from further injuries or future complications. However, with some injuries, you still need to be wary of long-term problems associated with that particular injury. Furthermore, many long-term problems are caused by improper rehabilitation and not just injury prevention, but also re-injury prevention.
Injuries That Can Lead To Long-Term Problems
Any injury can lead to a long-term problem if it’s not rehabilitated properly or if you don’t recover fully before returning to your usual training. However, there are some common injuries – particularly sports injuries – that can lead to future complications even with proper rehabilitation if precautions are not taken, such as re-injury prevention.
Sprains And Post-Traumatic Arthritis
Injuries such as twisted ankles and sprained knees are often shrugged off and either rehabilitated improperly or not at all. However, these injuries could lead to a long-term problem called post-traumatic arthritis, which could haunt you even in the far-off future. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, you’re seven times more likely to develop arthritis after damaging a joint. Even if it’s a slight sprain or an injury as innocent as a twisted ankle and seems to heal quickly, you still have a high risk of developing post-traumatic arthritis later in life.
Fractures And Strains Lead To Limited Mobility And Repeat Injuries
Particularly with stress fractures, you’re at an increased risk of limited mobility and even repeated injuries. If the fracture or strain occurs near a joint, you’re more likely to experience a permanent stiffness or even post-traumatic arthritis in the area. This can lead to impaired or limited mobility, which can also lead to further injuries later on if training is not adapted for this mobility.
ACL Injuries Lead To Weak Knees And Future Pain
Many people are aware of the common belief that once you’ve sustained an ACL injury, you’re likely to get one again. Furthermore, you’re also likely to have weaker and unstable knees. This weakness and instability can lead to pain associated with the area, which can lead to limited mobility. This weakness caused by an ACL injury can lead to other injuries like a dislocation and other tears.
Dislocations And Repeated Injuries
Dislocations of the shoulder and knees can lead to repeated dislocations as well as instability in the area. This instability can cause chronic pain, limited mobility, and repeated injuries, even joint degeneration and osteoarthritis.
Can You Prevent Long-Term Problems?
Proper rehabilitation, recovery, and training is the only way to prevent not only long-term problems but also re-injury. Proper rehabilitation includes recovery from the injury, as well as strengthening exercises that target that now weakened area. Continuing with the targeted exercises will help in the prevention of future problems as well as risk to future injury. Physical therapists are trained in proper rehabilitation, recovery, and prevention programs that can help you avoid future pain and injuries. Physical therapists work to build an individual recovery program. They also will assess your risk to re-injury and design a program to help prevent future problems.