Physical therapists are experts in dealing with injuries, but your PT can't help if they don't know about your injury!
You might be wondering who would keep an injury secret. The answer is lots of people!
The first thing that comes to your mind might be an athlete, like a football player, or maybe a baseball pitcher. But athletes aren't the only ones that keep injury secrets. Performers like dancers keep injury secrets, and so do workers in all types of jobs.
Why would anyone want to keep their injury secret instead of getting it treated and letting it heal? Read on…
Although there have been big improvements in the culture around sports, performing arts, and worker's comp, some people still have the old "no pain, no gain" attitude. To some people, reporting an injury is an act of weakness, or a way of letting the team down. There can also be external pressure from coaches, parents, teammates, supervisors, or fans to keep playing or working.
Fear of Loss
With the focus on head injuries in recent years, athletes that get hit in the head know if they report concussion symptoms, they're coming out of the game. Workers who get hurt on the job fear loss of pay, or loss of their job. Performers who get hurt might fear that their replacement will outshine them on the stage and take their place.
While the first two reasons can apply to athletes, performers, workers and most any other group that might be hiding an injury, this one is limited to athletes. If an opposing team knows a player is injured, and what the injury is, they might be able to take advantage of it. For example, if a football team has a running quarterback that has an ankle injury, it will change how the opposing defense plays.
These reasons all make some sense, but they're also all shortsighted.
Finishing a game, dancing tomorrow night, or working one more shift are never worth your long term health. Hiding a minor injury can turn it into a major one. It's never weak to report an injury and you're not letting your teammates, or coworkers down. If you're not up to your best, you owe it to the people counting on you to let them know. Letting a healthy player, performer, or worker take your place is the right thing to do. If you're injured, don't hide it! Let the right people know, then go to the right person for help - your physical therapist!
Do you have pain with reaching overhead or behind your back? Do you feel achy pain on the outside of your arm while reaching? If so, you may have pain originating from the rotator cuff muscles. The rotator cuff muscles are a group of four muscles that help to stabilize the shoulder and perform overhead, behind the back and out to the side movements. Overuse can lead to irritation and tears, which can be healed with physical therapy. If you think you may be experiencing this type of pain or any pain in the shoulder, come get it checked out!
Some resources to read more:
A body in motion stays in motion. The best thing we can do for our bodies is….MOVE! Research supports that movement and exercise supports bone growth and joint health.¹ The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity with 2 days of muscle strengthening activity.² This can include anything from walking 30 minutes a day 5 days a week to weekly yard work .
Adult sports leagues can be a great way to not only relive the glory days, but to have fun with movement. Movement should be fun and enjoyable, however there are instances when injury can make movement unenjoyable. As our bodies age, our tendons become less elastic and are prone to a process called tendinosis.³ Tendinosis is the process of our tendons (the connective tissue connecting muscle to bone) weakening due to chronic overuse motions.³ The result can be pain and limited function. Weekend warriors can endure throwing injuries, low back pain, and even jaw pain from neck and facial injuries. If left untreated, these conditions can become chronic and cause movement avoidance, further contributing to the tendinosis process. Weakness and or movement limitations can contribute further to the issue.
So, what’s the cure? Rehab! Tendons respond amazingly well to exercise correctly prescribed by a Physical Therapist.⁴ Physical therapy can also help with injury prevention. We can improve overall strength of the muscle and tendon to avoid throwing injuries, low back pain and even jaw pain. During the process of tendon healing and strengthening, we can provide pain relief through soft tissue mobilization, functional dry needling and other hands-on manual techniques. Weekend Warriors, if you are currently suffering from an injury or just want to become stronger to prevent injuries we can help!
Author: Heidi Plotzke, PT, DPT
1. Carter MI, Hinton PS. Physical activity and bone health. Mo Med. 2014;111(1):59-64.
2. How much physical activity do adults need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm. Published March 17, 2022. Accessed March 22, 2022.
3. Bass E. Tendinopathy: why the difference between tendinitis and tendinosis matters. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2012;5(1):14-17. doi:10.3822/ijtmb.v5i1.153
4. Ian Burton, Aisling McCormack, The implementation of resistance training principles in exercise interventions for lower limb tendinopathy: A systematic review, Physical Therapy in Sport, Volume 50, 2021, Pages 97-113,