Sustaining an injury as an athlete is a very serious matter that can have a tremendous negative impact on both life and career. Every athlete knows that a serious injury can mean the end of life as they know it – knowledge that would be too heavy for most people to bare, but knowledge that is part and parcel to an athlete. When an athlete is injured, there journey may go one of three ways.
Sometimes when a sports injury occurs, the medical professionals on the scene and those who care for the individual in the days that follow the injury may know immediately what the forecast for the individual’s athletic life will be from then on. This is typically not in the athlete’s favor because it is often a negative prognosis. If a medical professional can tell immediately what the future looks like for an athlete after having examined their injury, it likely means the end of the athlete’s career.
Typically what happens when an athlete is injured is they enter treatment and physical rehabilitation to determine over time whether or not the athlete can re-enter their sport competitively. It is usually impossible to tell how well the injury will heal until the individual makes efforts to heal over the course of several weeks or months. These efforts may include stretching, exercises, medications and endurance tests.
After treatment and rehabilitation begin, the long road to recovery will ultimately determine how an athlete can engage in their sport. It could be that their injury did not end their career, but it did shorten it. Many athletes return to their sport after an injury to find that they are still competitive but cannot perform at quite the same level that they used to. Their injury slowed them down but did not stop them. There are a few lucky athletes who make a full recovery from their injury and return to their sport on top of their game. Sadly, this is more the exception than the rule.