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Injury and the Recovery Process

Categories: Injury

Being injured can often be a huge blow mentally and physically. Injuries can range immensely from strains to fractures and can have a huge range of affects from bruising, swelling, cuts and surgery.

This is why it is important to monitor your training appropriately to prevent long term injuries happening.

Potential signs and symptoms of an injury are

  • Aches and pains
  • Repetitive movement patterns
  • Poor posture
  • Adhesions (muscle fibres get ‘stuck’ together, this will affect how the muscle can contract)
  • Change in joint mechanics (increase in friction from the cartilage, muscle tightness)
  • Certain muscle dominance (usually a smaller muscle trying to do the work of a bigger muscle and getting fatigued quicker)

Some injuries you’re not going to stop happening and these are usually out of your control, for example an opponent in a team sport tackling you or the environment you’re running on being unstable.

This week I’ll go over some of the common types of injuries and expected recovery times. Over the coming weeks I’ll go a little more into the injury cycle, the type of help available and the mental impact this can have.

Something to always have in mind is that the healing process is a long journey and can last anything from a few days to a couple of years depending on the severity of the injury. This is another reason why you need to understand your injury, the repair process and having a support network around you.


  • Injury to a ligament is causes by over stretching. Due to the limited blood supply even a mild sprain can take a long time to heal.
  • If the ligament is ruptured this can impact on joint stability in the long term.
  • A mild sprain would have little or no loss in joint function, mild swelling and mild pain on movement.
  • A moderate sprain would have severe pain on touch, movement and at rest. There would be swelling at bruising.
  • A severe sprain would mean there is a complete tear of the ligament, there would be excessive swelling and bruising, the joint would not be able to function correctly.


  • Occurs when a muscle or tendon is stretched too far or overloaded too much causing a tear.
  • The damage usually happens at the point the tendon extends into the muscle.
  • There is less inflammation in a tendon tear that muscle tear due to less blood flow in the area.
  • A mild strain would lead to minimal loss in function, slight discomfort but still able to continue the activity.
  • A moderate strain would lead to more pain on touch and stretching. There may be pain and limit in function and there may be a small lump where muscle fibres have bunched together.
  • A severe strain requires medical attention, it would be very painful and there would be a hollowing in the muscles where they have bunched together.

Stress Fractures

  • Is when a small crack or break appears in an otherwise healthy bone.
  • It’s usually an overuse or over training injury when there is repeated impact on a specific section of bone, typically in the feet and legs.
  • The area will be very tender and sore to touch in a specific area. There may also be swelling and bruising at the site of fracture.


  • Damaged cartilage can happen from a sudden injury in sport usually from contact or a twist.
  • It can also be a long term injury as the cartilage gradually wears down in a joint, when this happens it is called osteoarthritis.
  • Minor damage can settle on its own, however more severe damage may require surgery.

What is tendinitis?

The tendon will have torn or ruptured first and initiated the inflammatory process. If the inflammation continues and leads to a chronic problem this becomes tendinitis.

What is tendinosis?

When the tendon degenerates without any inflammation this is tendinosis. This is usually long term and there is not always a clear injury. You may have pain or non at all until a serious injury when causes further degeneration.