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Take Care of Your Injury Sooner Rather Than Later

by Athletico1 Comment

We’ve all been there at one point or another. Dealing with daily pain can be a constant ritual of our day just like eating breakfast or combing your hair.

It can be easy to accept that getting older comes with new aches and pain, especially as you get time passes and years ago by.

However, it’s important to note: joint or muscle pain becomes harder to treat as symptoms WORSEN (1,2,3). I added a few research articles indicating this fact with shoulder, neck and low back pain. As a clinician, I have much more success with patient’s recovery and elimination of pain when people come to see us within weeks of the pain starting.

Research definitely backs up this concept as well.

  • Treating people with low back pain is more successful when identified early. (4)
  • People with chronic shoulder pain have poorer results than those with acute shoulder pain. (1)
  • People with neck pain had poorer outcomes if they had been dealing with pain for long duration or if they have had a previous history of neck pain. (2,5)
  • Those who waited longer than 3 months had poor outcomes with neck pain than with those who were treated sooner. (6)

Plus, you set yourself up for having psychosocial problems the longer you deal with pain of all types. This can come in the form of depression, stress, anxiety, negative mood and poor cognitive function. (7) All of these factors can gradually diminish your quality of life and keep you unhappy!

Additionally, seek treatment for the first initial injury or pain. If neglected, then you may develop compensations with your movement. These compensations may not affect you in the short term, but you can set yourself up for a long history of repeat flare ups and injuries that have a worse prognosis when eventually treated. (2,5)

Your physical therapist can use active exercise, manual techniques and tips on activity modification to minimize your pain and assist with other adjuncts of treatment to maximize your ability to function. (8,9)

Even though we cannot generalize these findings to all joint/muscle aches and pains, we can take away one thing. Pain is a signal to your body in which something is abnormal. This is especially true if you have pain that persists for more than a few days. You end up having a harder recovery road ahead as you wait longer and longer to seek treatment. If you have yet to seek medical help or continue to struggle with pain, seek an assessment from your physician or a physical therapist to get a jump start on taking care of your body and maximizing your movement!

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1 Comment

  1. Laurie

    I seem to wait a little too long to take care of things. These are very good points to take care of them sooner rather than later, thank you for sharing!

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