Updated: Jun 25
As a personal trainer and massage therapist, I’ve seen many clients who were surprised how they got injured and kept asking themselves how that injury happened. Very often injuries happen when you least expect them to occur. One of the main reasons is that people don’t take care of their minor injuries and think that it will heal itself soon. In fact, they are right in many cases. The body heals itself in short or long terms depending on the type of the injury.
What happens during this healing process is one of the leading factors for the occurrence of the future injuries. This is why I name this process the snowball effect of the injury. When one minor damage is left untreated, the body starts the natural process of healing right after. This process is not an ideal condition for a lot of related joints, muscles and connective tissues. Sometimes, to avoid further injuries, the brain orders the body to compensate by using some other muscles and joints and this excessive pressure and overload of tasks might result in different imbalances which in turn could cause further injuries. As an example, to avoid pain or more damage to your injured right ankle, you might put more weight on the left side which can shorten many muscles on the left side and put extra stress on the related joints. This can cause a hip imbalance which could result in some lower back pain in future.
On the other hand, the additional step that the body takes to repair the damaged area is to release collagen(one type of protein which’s been used in the structure of many connective tissues and joint capsules) to glue the gaps in that injured area. Guess what? The body is not a perfect handyman, and it does glue the area in a very randomly fashion. Since these newly fixed tissues are not perfectly aligned the way they should be, if they left untreated, they will cause further damage and injuries. Imagine you had a right calf muscle pulled two months ago. At the time you had some pain, you didn’t rest and didn’t ice it. You didn’t see any therapist to treat it. The pain was diminished, and now you’re happy that you can play soccer pain-free. After a couple of games as you run for a ball, you twist your ankle. You’re shocked how that happened and probably never realized that the tightness of your calf muscle due to that minor injury was the main reason for over inversion of your ankle and sprain of a ligament on the other part of your foot.
Minor injuries which may not seem a big of a deal could end up with a significant injury. Don’t leave any injury untreated. Once injury happens, on the first 48 hours don’t forget to: Rest, ice, compress and elevate the injured limb. Although rest and
ice might not help the healing process itself, they may reduce the pain and swell to some extent.
The critical part of the treatment is three days to a week after the injury which may require extra care. Different procedures such as joint play, muscle activation, tension release, Friction, PNF stretching, etc. might be used by a massage therapist or other type of therapists to treat the injury. Starting a fitness training specific to that injury including corrective exercises has a significant benefit for fixing imbalances and preventing further injuries
Hooman Jamshidi Founder @Dur1 Health Registered massage therapist (RMT), Certified personal trainer E: firstname.lastname@example.org C: 416.726.4652