Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

Secondary Injuries

When one injury leads to another.

It may often seem that an injury to a specific part of the body such as the ankle, knee or hip, affects nothing more than the injured site. But a localized injury could result in problems that affect another part of the body even months later. A bad knee, for example, could throw off your biomechanics in such a way that you could develop a bad back - a secondary injury.

Researchers define secondary injury as one that causes the sufferer to take three or more days off from regular exercise and occurs within one year of a previous injury A secondary injury often might not be recognized as such because of the amount of time elapsed since the previous, seemingly unrelated, injury.

Pain resulting from a sprained ankle, for example, may go away after three or four months, but this does not mean that the ankle has been fully rehabilitated. If complete strength is not restored to the injured joint, a biomechanical habit of favoring it may develop. Even one year later, knee pain may set in.

The problem is, how do you tell when you have recovered from an injury? It may take six weeks for a leg broken in a skiing accident to heal, but it may take six months to completely regain the strength in the muscles that atrophied while the leg was in a cast.

Unless you are under the supervision of a qualified physical therapist with access to sophisticated testing machines, you may not be aware of lingering weakness in the injured limb. This may not be relevant until you return to the slopes and incur another injury, such as a torn-up knee, because of the weakened leg.

Who's at Risk?

One way to head off a secondary injury is to he aware of the risk factors. The most important one to look for is an injury that has occurred in the last 12 months, whether or not it's related to your primary sport. A whiplash injury in a car accident can put you at greater risk for injury in an aerobics class, for example. When strength, flexibility and biomechanics are out of balance, you are three to four times more likely to be injured again.

What else can predict a secondary injury?

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

Copyright 2000 - Sports Doctor, Inc.