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The Psychological Effects of Injury for Athletes

The Psychological Effects of Injury for Athletes

An athlete needs to give their full commitment, determination, and passion to their sport. Sports are a huge part of an athlete’s personal identity. Regardless of the level of competition, an athlete needs to excel at their sport in order to achieve peak performance. Any reason to pause training or competition can be difficult, especially if the reason is injury related. The severity of the injury could put the athlete’s career at stake.

Injury can force athletes to step away from competition until they are in the condition to play again. Injuries can be caused by numerous factors, including:

  • Poor preparation or training
  • Overtraining
  • Use of improper equipment
  • Poor execution or technique
  • Impact or physical trauma
  • Unsafe conditions

The Psychological Effects of Injury for Athletes

Although sports injuries affect your physical health, the psychological effects of an injury must also be considered. While athletes have different methods of working with injuiries, the psychological response of some athletes could result in emotional and mental trauma, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Alcohol and/or substance abuse
  • Irritation
  • Lack of motivation
  • Frustration
  • Anger
  • Isolation
  • Sleep disturbance

The psychological effects of an injury can be felt after the injury and may persist into the rehabilitation process. Often, this can last until the athlete is able to participate in their sport again. It is crucial for coaches, trainers, and teammates to understand these psychological responses and provide a solid support system for the injured athlete.

It is also important to understand that treatment for an injury is helped by a positive attitude. Often, an athlete who succumbs to a sense of depression may experience difficulties during rehabilitation. However, a professional physiotherapist can educate the athlete, correct misinformation, and provide positive support during the healing process.

Sports Injury Rehabilitation

The Psychological Effects of Injury for Athletes

Proper training, stretching, and strengthening exercises are critical for the prevention of sports-related injuries. Rehabilitation may vary, depending on the type, location, and severity of the injury.

Sports injury rehabilitation is prescribed to patients suffering from degeneration and/or muscle atrophy in areas like the hip, spine, or shoulders. After acquiring your medical records (examination and assessment of the injury), a licensed physical therapist can develop a rehabilitation plan to improve strength, conditioning, coordination, balance, and posture through exercise. This will work to reinstate the overall performance of the athlete so that they may remain active after rehabilitation. Sports therapy and rehabilitation include:

  • A customized exercise program to improve mobility
  • A plan to return the body to its pre-injury functions
  • Preventive measures to reduce the risk of further sport-related injuries
  • Preventive measures for recurring injuries
  • Achievement of top athletic performance

If you or someone you know is struggling with a sport-related injury, call Oriole Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Centre in North York at (416) 221-0772. Our licensed and highly-trained physiotherapists and physical therapists can assist your recovery.