3 Signs You Have A Chronic Sports Injury & Don’t Know It

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A sports injury can be a career-ending experience if not dealt with properly. In some cases, you may have even sustained a sports injury without even realizing it. These injuries can lead to permanent damage and extreme pain if you don’t see a doctor or Physiotherapist for injury recovery. 

But how do you know when you have a chronic or acute sports injury? 

Chronic Injuries Vs. Acute Injuries 

The main difference between acute and chronic injuries is that chronic sports injuries aren’t as obvious as acute injuries and often go unnoticed. 

An acute injury is apparent when it happens, such as a sprained ankle that causes a lot of pain or makes it difficult for the body to function. Chronic sports injuries can develop over time and may not show signs or symptoms until it’s too late. 

If a chronic injury isn’t treated, it can threaten your lifestyle and keep you from performing in sporting activities. This injury can prove frustrating, especially to athletes who rely on their bodies to play sports. Pain often lasts for over three months. It can surface as a dull ache, fade away, or constantly cause pain in the injured body part. 

What Are the Three Most Common Chronic Injuries?

The three most common chronic injuries are knee, elbow, and shoulder related.

Knees can experience a swarm of chronic injuries, such as:

  • Runner’s knee: This condition, also referred to as jumper’s knee or patellofemoral pain syndrome, causes pain and tenderness around the kneecaps. The injury is often found in runners, hikers, and cyclists. 
  • Stress Fractures: A bad fall or blow to the knee can result in a fracture formation in the bone around the knee. Knee fractures often happen to those who play sports with physical contact, such as football or soccer. In some cases, stress fractures can be caused by repetitive force to the bone. Stress fractures can develop slowly over time and cause further injury if left untreated. 
  • Dislocation: An impact to the knee can push the kneecap out of alignment, causing further pain and injury.
  • Torn ligament: Ligaments in the leg can tear if the knee is over-extended or twisted the wrong way. Torn ligaments are commonly related to athletes that play high-intensity sports.  
  • Tendon/meniscal tears: An awkward twist and pivot can lead to a meniscal tear, whereas an ill-timed jump or forceful landing can cause a tendon tear. 

There are a couple of apparent injuries associated with the elbows, including:

  • Tennis Elbow: Racket sports like tennis can cause the tendons in the elbow to develop small tears. The tears then become inflamed, causing pain on the outside of the elbow bone. Carpenters, painters, and plumbers often experience this condition as they repetitively use their forearms while working.
  • Golfer’s Elbow: This condition is a type of tendinitis that causes pain in the inner part of the elbow. Sometimes the pain can spread into the forearm and wrist, which can make clenching your fingers difficult. 

There are two common types of ankle injuries:

  • Sprained Ankle: A sprain can occur when the ankle is rolled or twisted uncomfortably, causing the ligament to tear. 
  • Achilles Tendinitis: An Achilles tendon injury can occur when the connecting calf muscle to the heel is stretched or torn. This condition can cause heel inflammation and extreme pain. 

How Do You Know if an Injury Is Chronic? 

To know if your injury is chronic, you can look out for these common signs:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Long-lasting pain

Some more serious symptoms include the following:

  • Pain, swelling, or numbness in the affected area
  • The affected area can’t bear weight 
  • The pain from a dull ache increases by swelling, instability, or joint abnormality 

Three Signs That You Have a Sports Injury

Sign 1

Aches and pains are a regular occurrence in life, but if you begin to feel a dull ache in your body even when you’re resting, it could indicate a serious problem. If this pain is happening regularly, it could be a sign of a chronic sports injury. 

Sign 2

Experiencing pain during specific activities such as standing, sitting, or bending down is often a telltale sign that you have a chronic injury. You could have several injuries, from a meniscal tear to a stress fracture. 

Sign 3

Another sign of a chronic injury is when you notice that a specific part of the body has become swollen. Swelling happens for a reason. You should take this sign as a chronic injury revealing itself to you. 

Don’t let the pain of chronic injuries slow you down and impede your physical activities. Begin your healing process by seeking help from a Physiotherapist at our clinic. We can assess your condition and provide the proper treatment to alleviate your pain. If you need physiotherapy in Winnipeg, contact us today.

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