Injured now—pay later – health management

Injured now—pay later – health management – Brief Article

Just about any aging athlete could probably answer this question without a medical study to back him up. Do past injuries cause problems later on? Darn right, they do. In a prospective study of 1,321 former medical students, researchers from Johns Hopkins University found that the risk of developing osteoarthritis was three to five times more likely if the joint had suffered a previous injury.

Running, per Se, has never been shown to cause osteoarthritis, but now it is known that certain injuries can cause degenerative changes to develop. And, how many runners do you know who’ve had a running injury? The lessons to take from this research are what common sense has always taught–prevention is the best medicine. Avoid an injury in the first place and your odds of developing degenerative joint disease go way down. Train right to avoid injury–give yourself ample time to recover from workouts and races, warm up gradually, get coached on good form, and never increase distance or intensity by more than 10% per week. If you get injured, don’t ignore it. Make certain you are pain free before you start running again.

(Annals of Internal Medicine, 2000, Vol. 133, No. 5, pp. 321-328)

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