Not a day goes by without us reading about someone on the bench while they work through their injury recovery. You hope it will never be you, but the chances are if you’re invested in playing a sport, you’re likely to get an injury at some point. Statistics show 90% of student athletes report some sort of sports-related injury at one point.
It can be demoralising having to miss out, but there are ways you can make the recovery process easier on yourself.
Accidents can throw us off our game. What’s worse is sometimes we have an accident unrelated to sports. For example, two years on from winning Olympic gold in hockey, Alex Danson was on holiday with her fiance and hit her head on a concrete wall by laughing too hard at a joke her fiance made. It wasn’t a car crash, and she didn’t fall from a great height, but she knew something wasn’t right.
Danson said, “I’m an athlete. We spend our life pretending we’re fine because you want to compete.”
But, she found out the hard way that ignoring an injury can have major consequences. A few weeks later, Danson temporarily lost the ability to speak and read, was bed-ridden, and could hardly walk to the bathroom. She couldn’t bear light, sound, or touch because she ignored her head injury. Her recovery is still ongoing after nine months. She visits her teammates once a week, assuring them she will make a full recovery.
54% of student athletes reveal they have played sport while injured. By doing so, we risk allowing an injury to get worse, re-injuring ourselves, and hugely extending the recovery time. By ignoring a concussion from her holiday, Danson will unlikely be joining the GB or England team this hockey season to break any more records.
Dealing with injuries as a sports player, especially at the professional level, is difficult. Not only is your love for playing on the line but so is your livelihood, which can make sitting out feel like you’re letting your team and yourself down. In reality, this is why making sure you’re quick to recognise injuries and follow professional medical advice during recovery is essential. It’s the only way if you want to get back to competing as soon as possible.
It can seem like time is moving slower but staying headstrong will pay off in the long run. You need to:
Going through recovery is difficult, but not as difficult as dealing with permanent damage which can happen if you don’t take your rehabilitation seriously. Know this isn’t permanent and, with the right help, it’ll be no time before you’re back giving it your all.
There’s nothing more important than an athlete’s health. That’s why OPRO has developed a unique mouthguard incorporating innovative technology allowing coaches to monitor the impact from tackles and collisions from the sidelines with real-time data capture, ensuring athletes stay safe and healthy in the game. For more information on our OPRO+ mouthguard, visit our website.