There are many physical, emotional, and economic consequences of a sports injury. Sustaining an injury, especially in the midst of training for an event or at the height of the season, is devastating on several different levels: physically, emotionally, and economically. The consequences run deeper than initially thought. Human nature tells us, “It won’t happen to me.” It can, and it does.
Obviously, there is the physical factor. It hurts! The initial injury hurts. There is pain for the several days that you nurse the injury before seeking medical care. It hurts when the doctor pokes and prods. It hurts until the pain medication takes affect. Then, in more severe cases, there is the pain from physical therapy and/or surgery. There is also the chance that the injured will always be affected by the injury. Remember the old football injuries from high school? Sometimes former injuries from “the good ol’ days” continue to plague athletes years and decades later.
Injuries also take an emotional toll on the body, particularly when training for a purpose or for a heart-felt cause. Heath Berkey, a former Marine and current Maryland state trooper, was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago. He fought a long, painful battle and is now in remission enjoying a full life.
Heath is planning on running in the next Marine Corps Marathon. When asked what motivates him to participate in his very first marathon, Heath said, “I am competing this event in memory of my friend Jeff Reis who lost his battle with Leukemia in June  and all individuals who are battling blood cancers. I will be thinking of Jeff and all others who are battling blood cancers with every step I take. These people are the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line – a cure!”
Three months before the race, Heath sustained an overuse injury during training. The MRI results suggested he had a severely sprained ligament in his ankle. Luckily the doctor ruled out a torn ligament and prescribed four to six weeks rest, to which Heath responded, “We’ll have to see about that!”
Lastly, even for the well-insured, there is an economic factor associated with injuries. Typically, people do not realize the out-of-pocket costs of medical care until they need treatment. When the insurance company’s Explanation of Benefits statements and medical bill start arriving in the mail a month later, it’s too late. Time to pay up!
Here is an average breakdown of costs (with good insurance) for treatment of a common overuse injury: IT band syndrome.
The physical, emotional, and economic consequences of a sports injury add up quickly. Working to prevent injuries is critical when a lot is at stake. It is human nature to think , “It won’t happen to me.” Chances are, at some point, it will happen to you.