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Common Reactions to Injury:

Almost everyone will experience an injury in their lifetime.

Yet every human will respond differently to injuries.

In saying this, there are reactions to injuries that are very common but often unhelpful.


When sustaining an injury, many of us tend to think the of worse. Common thoughts include:

  • "I have done serious, irreversible damage"

  • "I am never going to get better"

  • "I need surgery straight away otherwise I am going to get worse"

  • "I am never going to play sport again"

  • "I will be in pain forever"

These thoughts are often very universal! They are a psychological response to harm/danger. However, if these thoughts linger they can be harmful and even impact recovery.

Self Diagnosing:

Everyone has had a long, late night consultation with Dr Google before. Type in 'Shoulder pain' and there is no doubt your symptoms will match with the most sinister of pathologies.

Things to note:

  • Google does not know your whole story

  • Google is often outdated and information is usually written by writers without any health qualification

  • Google highlights the most common answers or articles (which are usually loaded with click-bait)

Dr Google creates fear. The only time Google can be helpful is to locate your closest health professional.

Listening to others:

We are social creatures. When we are injured often the first thing we will do is contact a friend or family member who has been through a similar experience. This can be problematic.

Things to note:

  • We have a cognitive bias to listen to the negative side of a story

  • All humans (and therefore injuries) are different

  • All humans have different goals

A useful mate is someone who is reassuring and recommends a health professional. A useless friend is one that creates doom and gloom!


When getting injured, recognise that extreme thoughts and feelings are normal and felt by many others.

The best thing to do is see to a health professional who can listen to your story and perform a thorough examination.

If you are fearful and catastrophising tell your health professional! Go in with a set of questions so that you can talk about your concerns.

You should walk out of a consult feeling like you have more clarity and support. You can't

tell me that you've finished a consult with Dr Google feeling more supported.

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