If you are an active person, especially if you’ve played any sports, you’ve probably had a bump or two along the way. It may have been a sprain, strain, or even a broken bone that sidelined you for a while. And although you may have healed completely, and returned to normal, old athletic injuries may bother you from time to time, even years later.

Chronic pain stemming from an old athletic injury is more common than you may realize. Older adults tend to be more prone to this, and it doesn’t matter if you are still participating in the sport or not.

The pain from that old injury can affect you though, and impact your daily life in ways that might surprise you.

Can old athletic injuries cause problems years later?

Quite often, an old injury will begin causing problems years later because you did not properly address it when it happened. You may have thought it was nothing at the time the injury occurred, so you did not take the time to rest or do certain exercises to aid in healing. Instead, you jumped right back in and this left the area weakened. This can result in chronic inflammation, weakness, and pain at that site.

This is very common with overuse injuries like tendonitis, bursitis, or stress fractures.

What causes old sports injuries to flare up?

There are several reasons why an old sports injury might flare up. One of the most common is reinjury. If the injured area was never able to heal properly, it has likely weakened and become more sensitive, meaning that it doesn’t take as much to irritate it.

This is not necessarily a new injury, but inflammation of an old one.

Stress can also cause a flare-up. When the body is under prolonged physical stress, it is often somewhat weakened in some areas. Certain types of movement can exacerbate the injury, causing pain. Emotional stress also makes you more sensitive to pain, so that could be a source of discomfort as well.

Do old athletic injuries turn into arthritis?

Any kind of injury to the joint can lead to post-traumatic arthritis. An injury that damages the joint structure, including the bone or connective tissue, can impact the way the joint naturally works. In turn, the wear and tear on it happened a lot faster than it would in the natural aging process.

Fractures and dislocations are the most common injuries that lead to arthritis, but just about any injury has the potential to do so, especially if it affects the function of one or more joints.

What types of treatment are effective for old sports injuries?

Chronic joint and muscle pain can make it difficult to participate in your chosen sport or even your daily activities. Standing from a sitting position or just walking can become very painful, and your first inclination may be to cease all activity.

Experts warn that this is a mistake and, in most cases, one of the worst things you can do.

Instead, you need to keep moving. Moderate exercise can help ease the pain of an old sports injury as well as prevent flare-ups.

Chiropractic care is another very effective treatment that has worked for many people by helping them stay flexible and mobile. This is achieved through chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue treatments, and rehabilitative exercises that are designed to ease pain, strengthen the area, and prevent further injury or re-injury.

If you are dealing with an old athletic injury that keeps sidelining you, call Sandstone Chiropractic or schedule a consultation online today and make an appointment with one of our chiropractors. That’s all it takes to put yourself back on the road to less pain and more mobility. You deserve that.