How an Injury Can Make You More Tired

How an Injury Can Make You More Tired

Posted by Denis Dyli on | 13 comments Tags: body, injury, mobility, pain, recovering, researchers, stress, tired

When you're injured, you may notice that you experience more fatigue than usual. This can just be a nuisance, or it can drastically impact your daily life.

But why does an injury make you more tired?

There are many causes to fatigue after an injury including, but not limited to stress, reacting to pain, and hindered mobility.

Stress Induced Fatigue

Being injured can be stressful.

Aside from the obvious complications of being injured, such as pain, it can drastically interrupt your daily routine.

If your injury was the result of a traumatic accident, you may have the added stress of trying to navigate the trauma and bad memories from it. If your injury causes you to be unable to perform duties at work, being forced to take time off to recover can add yet another layer of stress.

One of the main symptoms of stress is a significantly lowered amount of energy.The mental energy needed to deal with all the change caused by your injury leaves you with little left for other things.

This additional stress, caused by side effects from the injury, is more than enough to make you exhausted.

If your stress is tied to traumatic events, hindering your daily activities, or interrupting your relationships it's wise to seek help from your doctor. Your doctor may be able to provide you with help managing your stress levels, and improving your quality of life.

Pain Can Make You Tired

Researchers have found that your body simply dealing with, and reacting to pain can make you fatigued. When you're hurt, it takes attention away from other things, putting added strain on an already compromised body.

These researchers also point out that people tend to sleep in different positions to protect their injury. These unusual sleeping arrangements may not be comfortable, and lead to getting less deep sleep than you are used to, with the obvious effect of increased fatigue.

Hindered Mobility

It's quite likely that any injury is going to impact your mobility.

It could be directly, such as a broken leg or injured knee, or indirectly such as a sprained back. Limping, using crutches, being forced to use your non-dominant hand, finding new ways to put on your clothes, eat your food, or brush your teeth uses muscles that are not accustomed to being used in that way.

When you're injured, moving is essentially a workout except you've to invent this workout yourself, and it may not be one that's good for your body. Using new muscle groups for new tasks takes up a huge amount of energy, and is extremely exhausting.

Aside from the injury itself, various aspects that come with an injury will drain you and make you more tired.

Stress, lack of sleep, pain, and finding new ways to navigate life; it's easy to see why. The good news is that as you heal, your energy levels should return. If your energy isn't returning as you heal, consult with your doctor.

Prolonged exhaustion can cause or increase depression, which can be quite serious if left untreated. If you start experiencing symptoms of depression do not hesitate to seek professional help.


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13 comments


  • Hi All. I had a fibula fracture two weeks ago and have been so exhausted. I wrote two exams after the fracture and am back at work full time, but finishing a day is so tough. The fatigue is almost worse than the broken leg and loss of full mobility and independence. Thank you guys. I was concerned that something else is wrong….

    Judy on

  • I found this site as I have been exhausted, sleeping at night and then hours during the day, after breaking right collar bone, breaking three ribs, separating left collar bone, cut leg, sprained wrist, and on top of it all, huge hematoma on skull. six weeks ago. I’m 77 and was worried that perhaps it’s my heart or some other health issue but in reading the comments here I am reassured. Time, lots of time, appears to be the cure.

    Grace Brophy on

  • Broke my ankle in two places 12 weeks ago. Now in recovery mode but find walking exhausting – needing to rest in the day and find going out in the evening often too much. As a normally very active person this is very dispiriting but very useful to find a normal part of the healing process.

    Trisha on

  • This is really helpful, I have broken my hip, its been a long painful journey I feel tired all the time, thank you for this though.

    Deeepsha on

  • Has helped .knowing where the tiredness is coming from

    Deirdre Lester on

  • So it’s not just me-this is a relief! I broke my wrist a week ago and have been exhausted ever since. I’ve been dizzy and thought it might be from the painkillers at first but now I’m off them and realising I’m probably just tired due to the reasons you outline above. Hoping my energy comes back soon.

    Sarah Bennison on

  • I am very grateful for finding this…I broke several bones in my left foot a couple of weeks back and have been worrying that I am a drip for feeling tired. Am non weight bearing for a total period of 6 weeks and it’s knackering…every little thing seems to be such a chore! Thank you!

    Caroline W-W on

  • I am over 50 yrs old and broke my collarbone in 2 places 5 months ago. A titanium plate was put in. I still have extreme sensitivey to touch and some movement issues. I have returned to the gym to dance classes and have started light weight training to help me rebuild.
    The big problem I am experiencing is extreme fatigue. I sleep too much!
    Is it normal for me to be so tired?

    Tammy on

  • I get very tired around noon from my tib/fib and ankle break. It has been 3 months and therapy is helping me to walk again. Glad to know the exhaustion is normal.

    Sharon on

  • I found this information very helpful and I am pleased I read it,because my injury,was not too bad at first,but now dizziness and weakness have set in. I know that this is because, of my injury. Therefore I have decided to rest and take it easy,until this feeling goes away. I was baffled by the dizziness and undure if it was due to my broken bone. However, finding the correct information, has helped a great deal.I also seem to be getting indigestion,or hearburn.

    Lorraine Devlin on


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