Injuries And Their Impact On Mental Health

When we experience an injury, we are often aware of the damage to the soft tissues and the pain we will experience. An injury requires close attention and care for a period of time, and rehabilitation to help with healing. One area that we often overlook is the impact an injury can have on our mental health. It is common to feel depressive symptoms after an injury. These symptoms can include sadness, difficulty concentrating, restless sleep and poor appetite. These feelings can affect daily living, functioning and productivity. Injuries disrupt our lives and can remove us from doing the things we love. It may be harder to get around, see friends and family and participate in sports or leisure activities. 


Removal from social activities, such as a weekly tee time, only exacerbates these feelings. One study by Crichlow, Andres, Morrison, Haley and Vrahas looked at the relationship between orthopedic trauma and the prevalence of depression. They found 45% of the study cohort to be diagnosed with depression, as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory (2006). This compares to 3.2%-19.8% of the general population. What’s especially interesting is that there was no correlation found between injury severity and depression. This means that the prevalence of depression was just as high for less severe injuries as it was for severe injuries. Not surprisingly, the risk of depression is especially high for individuals who have experienced a concussion

Individuals who have a higher resilience commonly report a lower number of depressive symptoms, anxiety and stress. Injury rehabilitation should always involve addressing the psychological component of injury. For example, one technique involves incorporating sport-specific equipment into rehab exercises, such as golf. Seeking professional help to help with injury rehabilitation can shorten your recovery time and increase your confidence to return to activities. Contact me today to learn how I can help rehabilitate your injury and get you back to doing the activities you enjoy! 


Crystal Bartkowski
Athletic Therapy

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