Acute injuries can interrupt lives. Obvious sprains from a fall or fractures from a collision are painful and limiting – they also draw our immediate attention and action into treatment.
More subtle injuries – insidious and invisible to the onlooker and even ignorable for a time by the injured – can be equally painful and limiting. Because they do not draw our immediate attention, there is often delayed or lack of action into treatment, creating the potential for more serious and long-lasting injury, debilitation and breakdown of the whole system.
Consider a stress fracture of the foot from running – generally caused by overuse, lack of supportive footwear, increased volume and impact of training, new surfaces and inadequate time for recovery. Sometimes there are warning signs of pending injury – slight soreness, tight muscles – and slight modifications in the frequency and intensity of training along with attention to the necessary footwear and accommodating surfaces, with increased recovery time can allow significant injury to be avoided.
Other times there is sudden onset of severe pain, side-lining any and all activity, requiring more significant intervention. Continuing the previous training at this stage would likely lead to a true fracture of the foot, requiring even longer healing, surgical intervention and potentially cause irreparable damage.