Can my Injury affect my Mental Fitness?

When we are injured physically, most of the time we do not think about the potential effects on our mental health or how our mental health might be affected. it is very important to consider because it affects the experience a patient is having at the time of their injury.

mental fitness

The positive physical and mental benefits of excersise are well established in literature.


Excersize is a tool that people use to manage stress and improve their moods. When this is lost through injury this can have significant a negative impact. To help reduce the negative impact "work arounds" such as aqua jogging, and other forms of excersise should be offered to the patients. Endorphins are chemicals released by the body during excersise, these help the "excersise feel good factor". These are lost when we can't excersise.


Poor mental health can have an impact on the time the patient takes to recover. A study done called "How Mental Health Affects Injury Risk and Outcomes in Athletes" reported that “There is a known psychological response to injury that can prolong recovery from musculoskeletal injury”. This states in summary that a mental health condition that arises post-injury can affect the time it takes to heal completely.


In addition to the length of recovery, poor mental fitness can affect the symptoms of the injury. People who reported symptoms or depression also rated their pain higher than people who did not have symptoms of depression with the same conditions. Emotions effect how we feel pain.


When it comes to podiatry and foot related injuries it can affect a lot of parts of the patient's life. Reduced quality of life has two main categories, a loss of self confidence and a loss of self care. If a patient is not able to walk like they used to or are experiencing pain, it can lead to negative thoughts or negative outlooks on the healing process.


If the problem involves the skin or foot, then it could impact the self confidence of the patient. Because of the visibility of the injury, they might not be comfortable wearing or doing the same things they used to, reducing the quality of their everyday life because they might feel restricted.


The patient is looking to heal fully, both physically and mentally. Some ways to
practice good mental health when recovering are as follows:


  • Keeping a good perspective on healing and follow the instructions given by your health care professional
  • Meditating
  • Realising this is not a permanent solution
  • Talking to friends
  • Try and adapt another form of excersise you are able to do.
  • Staying busy with a hobby
  • Keep good company trying not to isolate yourself
  • Seek assistance if you feel too overwhelmed.


If you are struggling, or know anyone that is struggling with Mental Health, don't be afraid to seek help. Below may be some helpful resources for your friends and whanau.
i am hope boot
mental health foundation

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