6 Common Injuries That Can Worsen Over Time If Not Treated Appropriately
Injuries are an unfortunate part of life, and whether they occur during sports, accidents, or everyday activities, they can disrupt our lives and leave us in pain. However, we often try to tough it out and ignore the pain, hoping it will go away on its own. But here’s the truth: ignoring injuries can have serious consequences and prolong our suffering. That’s why seeking proper treatment for the six most common injuries people overlook is crucial. These injuries require attention and care, from sprained ankles to back strains and everything in between. In this article, we will delve into why you should always pay attention to the pain, the potential complications that can arise from doing so, and the importance of seeking the right treatment to ensure a full and speedy recovery. It’s time to prioritize your health and well-being by giving your injuries the attention they deserve.
What Are The 6 Most Common Injuries That Go Untreated?
The following are six common injuries that often go untreated, leading to potential complications:
- Sprains/Strains: Sprains involve the stretching or tearing of ligaments, while strains refer to the stretching or tearing of muscles or tendons. These injuries can occur during physical activities, sports, or accidents. Without proper treatment, sprains and strains may lead to chronic pain, instability, and reduced range of motion. Seeking medical attention and following a rehabilitation plan are crucial for healing and preventing long-term complications.
- Tendonitis: Tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon, which connects muscles to bones. It commonly occurs due to overuse, repetitive motions, or incorrect form during physical activities. If left untreated, Tendonitis can lead to chronic pain, restricted movement, and tendon degeneration. Rest, appropriate exercises, and sometimes medical intervention are necessary to manage and heal tendonitis effectively.
- Stress Fractures: Stress fractures are small cracks in the bones, often caused by repetitive impact or overuse. These injuries commonly occur in weight-bearing bones such as the feet, shins, and hips. Ignoring stress fractures can result in complete fractures, delayed healing, and long-term complications. Timely diagnosis, proper rest, and medical guidance are crucial for adequate recovery.
- Rotator Cuff Tears: The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. Tears in the rotator cuff can occur due to trauma, overuse, or degeneration with age. Rotator cuff tears may lead to shoulder weakness, limited mobility, and chronic pain without appropriate treatment. Physical therapy, medication, or surgical intervention may be necessary, depending on the severity of the tear.
- Herniated Discs: A herniated disc displaces the cushioning discs between the spinal vertebrae. This condition can result from age-related degeneration, injury, or improper lifting techniques. An untreated herniated disc may cause chronic pain, nerve impingement, and limited mobility. Proper diagnosis, pain management strategies, and physical therapy can aid in relieving symptoms and preventing further damage.
- Ligament Tears: Ligament tears commonly occur in the knees, such as the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear. Sudden twists, direct impact, or sports-related accidents often cause these injuries. Untreated ligament tears can lead to joint instability, reduced function, and an increased risk of further injury. Treatment options may include physical therapy, bracing, or surgical repair, depending on the severity of the tear.
Consulting with a specialist will help determine your specific condition’s best course of action and ensure proper treatment and rehabilitation.
What Happens If You Don’t Treat These Injuries?
If left untreated, the following injuries can lead to various complications and long-term consequences:
- Sprains/Strains: Without proper treatment, sprains and strains can result in chronic pain, swelling, and instability in the affected joint. Inadequate healing may lead to joint weakness and an increased risk of re-injury. In some cases, untreated severe sprains or strains can even lead to joint deformity.
- Tendonitis: Failure to treat tendonitis can lead to persistent pain and inflammation, limiting the range of motion in the affected joint. Continued overuse or repetitive stress on the tendon can result in tendon degeneration, making it more susceptible to tears or ruptures.
- Stress Fractures: If stress fractures are not addressed, they can progress into complete fractures, prolonging the healing process. Persistent stress on the affected bone may result in chronic pain, impaired mobility, and increased risk of further fractures.
- Rotator Cuff Tears: Untreated rotator cuff tears can lead to ongoing pain and weakness in the shoulder. Without proper rehabilitation and management, individuals may experience limitations in daily activities, decreased range of motion, and muscle imbalances that can affect posture and overall shoulder function.
- Herniated Discs: Neglecting the treatment of herniated discs can result in persistent back or neck pain, nerve compression, and radiating pain or numbness in the limbs. In severe cases, chronic pressure on the nerves can lead to muscle weakness, sensory deficits, and even bowel or bladder dysfunction.
- Ligament Tears: Untreated ligament tears, such as an ACL tear, can lead to joint instability, making the affected joint prone to recurrent injuries. Over time, the lack of stability may contribute to osteoarthritis, causing pain, joint degeneration, and reduced quality of life.
In general, untreated injuries can result in chronic pain, joint instability, reduced range of motion, muscle weakness, muscle imbalances, and an increased risk of further damage or complications. It is crucial to seek appropriate medical attention and follow the recommended treatment plans to promote proper healing, restore function, and prevent long-term consequences.
How Can You Begin Physical Therapy After Years of Neglecting The Pain?
Suppose you have neglected pain for years and are considering starting physical therapy. In that case, taking the necessary steps to begin your rehabilitation journey safely and effectively is essential. Here are some key steps to consider:
- Consult with a Medical Professional: Before starting physical therapy, it’s crucial to consult with a medical professional, such as a primary care physician or orthopaedic specialist. They can evaluate your condition, provide an accurate diagnosis, and determine if physical therapy is appropriate for your situation.
- Find a Qualified Physical Therapist: Once you have received clearance from a medical professional, the next step is to find a qualified physical therapist (PT). Look for a PT who specializes in your specific area of concern or injury. A qualified PT will have the expertise and experience to assess your condition, develop a tailored treatment plan, and guide you through rehabilitation.
- Schedule an Initial Evaluation and Assessment: The initial evaluation and assessment are crucial to determine your current physical status, identify any areas of weakness or imbalances, and establish a baseline for your rehabilitation progress. During this evaluation, your PT will conduct various tests, ask about your medical history, and discuss your goals and expectations.
- Set Realistic Goals: Working with your physical therapist, establish realistic goals aligning with your needs and capabilities. These goals may include reducing pain, improving flexibility and range of motion, enhancing strength and endurance, or returning to specific activities or sports. Setting clear goals will help guide your treatment plan and provide a sense of direction throughout your physical therapy journey.
- Follow Through on Your Treatment Plan: Commitment and consistency are crucial for a successful physical therapy experience. Adhere to your scheduled sessions and actively participate in the prescribed exercises and therapies. Your PT will design a customized treatment plan that may include a combination of manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, modalities, and education on self-care techniques. By actively engaging in your treatment plan, you can maximize your progress and achieve optimal results.
Remember that starting physical therapy after years of neglecting pain may require patience and persistence. It’s important to communicate openly with your physical therapist, providing feedback on your progress, any concerns or setbacks, and adjusting the treatment plan as needed. With dedication and guidance from a qualified PT, you can embark on a journey of healing, pain management, and improved physical well-being.
Why Choose Pro Staff for Physical Therapy Needs?
Pro Staff Physical Therapy is an excellent choice for your physical therapy needs due to their exceptional care and expertise. A team of highly skilled and knowledgeable therapists can provide comprehensive treatment and support for a range of conditions. Whether you are dealing with chronic pain, recovering from an injury, or seeking rehabilitation after neglecting pain for years, Pro Staff Physical Therapy can offer personalized care tailored to your needs.
Our therapists have experience addressing musculoskeletal issues, including sprains/strains, tendonitis, stress fractures, rotator cuff tears, herniated discs, and ligament tears. By utilizing evidence-based techniques and individualized treatment plans, Pro Staff Physical Therapy can help you regain mobility, reduce pain, improve strength and function, and enhance your overall quality of life. With their commitment to patient well-being and a patient-centred approach, you can trust Pro Staff Physical Therapy to guide you on your journey towards recovery and better physical health. Book your appointment today!