Sports Medicine

June 20, 2017

Sports Injuries: The Impact on Your Body Years after the Incident


Past injuries can linger for years, so see a specialist for your sports injury.

Playing sports comes with many achievements and rewards. Whether a person enjoyed contact sports like football or individual competitions such as gymnastics, there are lasting effects. Injuries are often an unavoidable consequence of sports participation. Understanding how sports injuries impact the body and seeing a qualified sports medicine doctor can help limit lasting damage.

How Sports Injuries Impact the Body
If you are playing football or boxing, you are experiencing blow after blow, every practice, and every match. Much of this contact involves your head. Helmets and headgear help, but they do not prevent injuries completely.

As such, concussions and other traumatic brain injuries are extremely common in these types of contact sports. The problem is that even after the concussion heals, some damage may remain. According to the medical journal Brain , athletes who experience a concussion are more likely to develop cognitive issues as compared to their peers who have never had a brain injury.

The likelihood of future issues is also heightened when it comes to arthritis. Your knees, shoulders, spine, ankles and hips each take extra wear and tear when you play sports. Torn cartilage and strained ligaments are common injuries when you are an athlete. The National Center for Sports Safety found that these injuries often contribute to the development of arthritis. However, with proper treatment from a sports medicine doctor and adequate rest, the risk of arthritis can be reduced.

Overuse and Regular Use
Most importantly though, your body can experience lasting effects from playing sports even without specific injuries; this is because general overuse can cause problems down the road.

“Not only are overuse injuries in young athletes likely much more common than is realized, these injuries can require lengthy recovery periods, and in some cases, they can result in long-term health consequences,” explains John P. DiFiori, MD, vice president of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.

For instance, according to Harvard Men’s Health Watch, a study of over 6,300 adults found that among people who exercise regularly, more than 20 percent develop some sort of exercised-related injury within a year.

Treatments Available for Older Sports Injuries

The trick to managing this impact on your body is to get the right help.

“You can manage many injuries yourself, but don’t be stubborn,” says Harvard Men’s Health Watch. “Primary care physicians can handle many exercise-induced problems, but more difficult issues require orthopedists, physical therapists, and sports podiatrists.”

For many sports-induced injuries, simply resting and icing the spot will not work for long-term relief. A sports medicine doctor or orthopedic specialist can better assess your condition and explain your options for preventing and treating issues stemming from old sports injuries.

If you have an old sports injury that still causes you pain, call Arkansas Surgical Hospital at (877) 918-7020 for more information on how sports injuries impact your body. Take action and ask your doctor to send you to Arkansas Surgical Hospital. We will arrange your appointment with a sports medicine doctor at Arkansas Surgical Hospital so you can understand the impact of old sports injuries on your body and develop a treatment plan for managing them.

need help scheduling
an appointment with a surgeon?

more questions?


Main Line
Toll-Free Number
Visit the hospital
5201 Northshore Drive
North Little Rock, AR 72118