You must have experienced that niggle in your back, ache in your shoulder, or a slight twist of a knee or an ankle and thought, ‘No it’s fine, I can move it, it will be OK. I’ll just rest it for a while and it will just go away’. Then you forget it for a few days. Then out of nowhere, you perform a simple movement, action or exercise which will aggravate the issue!
The onset of pain occurs immediately, then all of a sudden you can’t move. You begin to panic and worry about what it is & the severity. This is just one example of many that I hear regularly. So, what are the consequences of ignoring an injury?
According to Bayer, M. L., Magnusson, S. P., Kjaer, M., & Tendon, R. G. B. (2017), “The observed difference supports the importance of early loading of injured musculotendinous tissue. Immobilization can swiftly and adversely affect muscle and tendon structure and function and has detrimental effects on connective-tissue cells. The matrix component of muscle–tendon regeneration is substantial and prolonged, which may contribute to the difference in recovery time in our study”.
Delaying treatment and rehabilitation by 7 days can delay your return to sport by upto 3 weeks! The focal point of this study was on musculotendinous tissue (muscles & tendons), the same approach should be applied on all sports injuries. Resting the area reduces the ability for the tissues to adapt & become strong enough for you to return to sport. In a nutshell, rest is rust! See below for their results.