- NOT SEEKING PROFESSIONAL HELP: One of the main reasons that injuries often recur or lead to other related injures is that we fail to seek professional help. Sometimes this is because we feel that our injury isn’t severe enough to require professional help or maybe we believe we can simply pull some information off the internet and manage our own recovery. Of course, the problem is that injuries are often more serious than they first appear and, if not properly treated, can quickly become considerably more serious. As for the “Dr. Google” approach, the internet is full of incomplete and often conflicting information and simply reading a high-level primer on a general condition isn’t going to give us the knowledge and skills we need to properly assess and treat what might seem to be a simple condition.
- STOPPING TREATMENT TOO SOON: Even those who do get professional help often suffer the same fate as those who don’t because they make the mistake of stopping treatment when the pain stops. While this is understandable, it’s also the wrong thing to do because pain often stops long before recovery is complete. True recovery involves healing the affected area, strengthening the surrounding area and addressing whatever structural imbalances may have contributed to the injury in the first place. Stopping treatment too soon can lead to incomplete or improper healing and reduced functionality; even without returning to our pre-injury activity levels.
- COMING BACK TOO EARLY: This flows from that same mistaken belief that says that once the pain is gone, the injury is too. While it’s perfectly natural for us to want to get back to our regular routines as soon as we possibly can, sometimes this causes us to make decisions that are ultimately counter-productive. The problem is that while we may “feel fine” while we’re relatively inactive, the reality is that our bodies are still not strong enough to handle the stresses and strains of our previous activity levels which means that we’re risking re-injury, a worsening of the same injury or even experiencing a completely new but a related injury (our body tries to compensate for the weakened area by overusing other muscles compensate which then become weaker themselves). Unfortunately, as non-health professionals, we’re not really equipped to know when our bodies are truly ready to support our previous activity levels which is why it makes most sense to have a professional manage the process.
- REPEATING PROBLEMATIC BEHAVIOUR: While some injuries are the result of a sudden trauma, others are caused by our own unwise/unhealthy behaviour. Many sports related injuries, particularly those experienced by older individuals, are directly related to improper warming up & stretching. Unfortunately, far too many of us still end up reverting to our previous warm up/cool down routines even after completing treatment with a health professional and being advised to change our behaviour. The same goes for wearing prescribed corrective supports (i.e., custom orthotics and braces). Despite the fact that these supports are prescribed to help compensate for bio-mechanical weakness, many of us tend to stop wearing them shortly after treatment. All too often, the net result in both cases is re-injury.
Posted by Dr. Scott Wilson | 13-02-2015
There’s no question that getting injured can be an extremely frustrating experience. Aside from the obvious pain and discomfort that goes with it, getting injured tends to disrupt our regular routine and prevents us from enjoying our favourite activities. As if this isn’t bad enough, the sad fact is that, for many people, injuries tend to either recur or lead to a series of other, related injuries. If this sounds at all familiar, you might want to take a look at some of the key reasons why: