As much as we all hate them, injuries do happen.
On many occasions, they are out of our control but often happen anyway, especially when taking part in competitive sport. Your body producing pain is a sign that something has happened; your body is under threat and it is telling you to stop.
It all starts from the brain which produces pain signals and triggers the repair process. It is a mechanism of survival, signalling to you where the injury is; telling you to protect it.
And that’s exactly what you should do, stop, take a minute to breath and think about what to do next.
There’s no point stressing about what just happened as it can’t be changed, your best option if to take control of the situation and do something about it as quickly as possible to prevent unnecessary damage!
Too often do we see people coming into the clinic four weeks or more, after the initial injury and their reason for doing so was because they wanted to “see how it goes”. The problem with this is that the longer time left in-between the initial injury and treatment, usually results in a longer recovery time due to changes in the tissue that might have occurred as a result of trauma.
For example, in an ankle sprain, the tissue become stretched and may ever tear. The damaged tissue become inflamed, initiating the repair process and regeneration of damaged tissue. Immediate treatment should consist of rest, ice and elevation, to control the inflammation. This should provide relief, however, the rehabilitation phase immediately after a ligament sprain is even more important and this is the part that many individuals miss out on by not seeing us straight after injury!
This phase will speed up your recovery process and considerably decrease the likelihood of recurrent ankle problems in the future. If left unaddressed, minor symptoms can continue for several months, however more than 90 percent of patients will do well if proper treatment is carried out. The main reason for persistent pain is due to the build-up of scar tissue from the injured tissue which can cause further issues and persistence pain. Another common problem is ankle instability, usually resulting from the ligaments healing to lose or stretched out.
Rather than just “seeing how it goes”, do something about it and get your injury seen to as soon as possible. It is not the end of the world and you will be able to recover from it and return back to sport, given the correct steps are taken to manage it. There’s a reason why your body is producing the pain signals in the first place, so take a deep breath and listen to it.