Louisville Sports & Injury Center - February 2019

Louisville Sports & Injury Center

4227 Poplar Level Road, Louisville, Kentucky 40213 www.usinjurydr.com

502-451-5959

FEBRUARY 2019

asked them about their mental states, and they haven’t been able to articulate their emotional turmoil. Due to the ingrained societal emphasis on the physical injury, and the stigma involving discussions about mental health, patients don’t realize that it’s perfectly normal to feel depressed or anxious during any point of their treatment plan. There’s a minefield of emotions involved in recovery, and if patients already have a history of depression or anxiety, then accidents can definitely trigger or worsen those disorders. When you have a fundamental aspect of daily life removed from your routine, such as a broken limb or a totaled vehicle, it can be crippling. You don’t often realize how important your health is until you spend every day wondering if you’ll ever be back to normal again. It’s similar to being sick. When you’re struggling with a bad cold or virus, you gain perspective on what it’s like to be completely healthy. But unlike a cold, which lasts just a few days, an injury may persist for months, years, or even the rest of your life. It’s very discouraging, but helping patients battle that discouragement is a massive part of what my team and I do. I’ve been in this field for over two decades now, and in the last couple years, I’ve noticed that more professionals are starting to consider the emotional side of a physical injury. While discussions about mental health might not be commonplace yet, they are definitely becoming a major part of the conversation. I’m excited to continue helping patients with both their physical and emotional journeys to recovery and break down barriers surrounding discussions about mental health. If you have any questions about this significant part of rehabilitation, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.

Physical Recovery Is More Than Just Physical How Your Mental Health Impacts Your Recovery

When people think of the recovery process following an injury, they have the tendency to focus solely on the physical manifestations. To a certain degree, this tendency makes sense. If you are injured, you’re likely in pain, and therefore, all of your concentration goes into finding a way to ease that pain. In the same way, if you are in a collision that totals your car, your mind is overcome with the stress of replacing your sole transportation method. Then if you seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney, you’ll talk about property damage and lost wages. From pain to paperwork, all of the conversations following an injury hinge on these physical manifestations. One aspect no one really wants to talk about is the emotional or mental struggle.

more prominent and perturbing than any physical manifestation. The vast majority of the population doesn’t realize that injuries don’t happen in a vacuum. Let’s say, for example, that you’re in an accident that causes you to break your arm. The break keeps you from working, so you seek help from a lawyer to get compensation to cover the damages to your car, your medical bills, the wages you lost during your recovery time, and something called “pain and suffering.” Even if you receive payment for pain and suffering, the term is still just arbitrary; it doesn’t get at the heart of what’s going on in your head. The stress, the financial distress, the relationship conflicts, and the anxiety are all common byproducts of a physical injury that often go unmentioned.

To me, the emotions associated with the rehabilitation process are perhaps even

I can’t count how many conversations I’ve had with past patients wherein I’ve

–Dr. Trace Kelly

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