Ignoring a sports injury, or returning to work too quickly after an injury, may actually increase a young person’s risk of developing arthritis later in life.
In fact, according to recent research conducted by the University of Iowa, joint damage at the site of an injury may evolve into further problems and actually be a predictor for arthritis down the line. Furthermore, evidence of arthritis could emerge as quickly as within a decade of suffering the injury.
We generally think of arthritis as a condition that strikes older or middle-aged people, but often neglect the fact that sports injuries can actually trigger joint and bone damage in younger people that can result in future symptoms of arthritis. More than 27 million Americans currently live with arthritis. Those numbers are expected to increase as the population ages and the number of obese people in the population increases. More than 40% of people who suffer an injury to the ligaments, meniscus, or the articular surface of a joint will develop arthritis in the future. For example, a history of knee injury increases your risk of developing arthritis in the knee by as much as 3 to 6 times.