Don’t Keep Injury Secrets!
By Dubuque Physical Therapy Team
October 20, 2022
(used with permission from the APTA Private Practice Section)
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.
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!