Early Injury Treatment
How Are Acute Injuries Treated?
What To Do the First Few Days Post-Injury
Acute Injury Treatment
Rest from painful exercise or a movement is essential in the early injury stage. We call this active rest. “No pain. No gain.” does not apply in most cases. The rule of thumb is – don’t do anything that reproduces your pain for the initial two or three days. After that, you need to get it moving, or other problems will develop.
If you are unsure what to do, please get in touch with your physiotherapist for injury-specific advice.
Ice or Heat?
Ice is preferred for the initial two or three days post-injury. Apply ice for 20 minutes each, two to three hours for the first few days until the “heat” comes out of the injury. Ice should also help reduce your pain and swell in traumatic soft tissue injuries, such as ligament sprains, muscle tears, or bruising.
It is preferable to avoid heat (and heat rubs) in the first 48 hours of injury. The heat encourages bleeding, which could be detrimental if used too early.
Once the “heat” has come out of your injury, You can use heat packs to stimulate blood flow. We recommend 20-minute applications a few times a day to increase the blood flow and hasten your healing rate.
Heat will also help your muscles relax and ease your pain. Heat Wheat Packs are an excellent home solution for a multitude of conditions.
Not Sure What to Do?
If you’re not sure what to do, don’t hesitate to contact your physiotherapist to discuss your situation specifically.
Should You Use a Compressive Bandage or Support?
Yes. If it is possible to apply a compressive bandage or elastic support to the injury, it will help to control swelling and bleeding in the first few days. In most cases, the bandage/support will also help support the injury as the new scar tissue is laid down. This should help to reduce your pain.
Some injuries will benefit from more support, such as a brace or rigid strapping tape. Please get in touch with your physiotherapist if you are uncertain about what to do next.
Elevation of an injury in the first few days is beneficial. Think where your injury is and where your heart is. Gravity will encourage swelling to settle at the lowest point. Try to rest your injury above your heart. Obviously, some injuries are impossible, or it would be detrimental to elevate, so please use your common sense and be guided by your pain.
When to Start Treatment?
In most cases, “the early bird gets the worm”. Researchers have found that the intervention of physiotherapy treatment for acute soft tissue injuries within a few days has many benefits.
Prompt Treatment Benefits include:
- Relieving your pain quicker via joint mobility techniques, soft tissue massage, electrotherapy etc
- Improving your scar tissue quality using techniques to guide the direction it forms
- Getting you back to sport or work quicker through faster healing rates
- Loosening or strengthening your injured region with individually prescribed exercises and techniques
- Improving your performance when you do return to sport, work or simply daily life
- Correct any biomechanical faults that may be affecting your movement, technique or predisposing you to injury
What if You do Nothing?
Research tells us that injuries left untreated do take longer to heal and have lingering pain. They are also more likely to recur and leave you with:
- abnormal scar tissue formation
- joint stiffness
- muscle weakness
It’s important to remember that symptoms lasting longer than three months become habitual and are much harder to solve. The sooner you get on top of your symptoms, the better your outcome.
We recommend that you seek early health professional advice to point you in the right direction.
Maximising Your Health with Physiotherapy Treatment
Exploring Physiotherapy Treatment for Pain and Injury
Physiotherapy treatment shines as a beacon of hope for individuals grappling with illnesses, injuries, or disabilities. Physiotherapists proactively utilise an array of techniques, including exercises, manual therapies, and soft tissue manipulation. Their professional skills extends to educating patients on managing pain, facilitating injury recovery, and retaining autonomy in daily functions.
Acute and Sub-Acute Injury Management
Physiotherapy treatment strategies are meticulously designed to address both acute and sub-acute injuries. With a focus on joint mobilisation, manipulation, and targeted soft tissue work, physiotherapists ensure each patient embarks on an efficient path to recovery. Supportive devices such as strapping, taping, and braces often complement these techniques.
Incorporating Alternative Therapies
In their holistic approach, many physiotherapists incorporate alternative methods like acupuncture and dry needling to augment pain relief and muscle function. Tailored physiotherapy exercises, ranging from stretching to Swiss ball workouts, are prescribed to meet the diverse needs of patients.
Specialised Physiotherapy Treatment
Specialised services within physiotherapy cater to specific groups and needs. Sports physiotherapy, women's and men's health, and workplace physiotherapy are distinct areas that address the particular challenges faced by different patient populations. Electrotherapy and local modalities such as therapeutic ultrasound and TENS machines represent the another side of physiotherapy treatments.
Targeted Physiotherapy Treatment for Injury Recovery
For those facing acute or sub-acute injuries, physiotherapists provide immediate and effective treatments that target pain, swelling, and inflammation. They blend traditional methods with innovative techniques to foster healing and functional restoration.
Hands-On Techniques in Physiotherapy
The hands-on aspect of physiotherapy is fundamental, with practitioners employing joint mobilisation, manipulation, and massage to catalyse healing and reduce discomfort. Ongoing learning and collaboration with other health professionals ensure that physiotherapy care is both comprehensive and customised.
Support Through Taping and Bracing
Physiotherapists are adept at applying various taping methods and supportive braces to aid in the stabilisation and rehabilitation process. They assess and determine the most suitable support mechanisms for each individual's condition.
Exercise Prescription for Rehabilitation
A broad spectrum of exercises is at the heart of physiotherapy treatment plans. From enhancing muscle flexibility to improving balance and proprioception, physiotherapists deliver evidence-based exercise regimens aimed at optimising recovery and function.
Biomechanical Analysis for Customised Care
A thorough biomechanical assessment underpins the physiotherapeutic approach, guiding the development of personalised treatment plans. This detailed analysis ensures that interventions are accurately targeted to address specific issues.
Specialised Physiotherapy Treatment Modalities
Hydrotherapy and sports physiotherapy offer targeted treatment options for individuals with specific needs, from aquatic exercises to specialised programs for athletes. Vestibular physiotherapy is dedicated to resolving balance disorders and associated symptoms.
Gender-Specific and Workplace Physiotherapy
Addressing the unique health concerns of both men and women, gender-specific physiotherapy utilises techniques like pelvic floor exercises. In the workplace, physiotherapy focuses on preventing and managing job-related injuries, contributing to a healthier work environment.
Conclusion: The Journey to Wellness with Physiotherapy
In conclusion, physiotherapy treatment is a richly diverse field, providing individualised care and a broad range of techniques to support patients on their path to recovery. It's essential to engage with a professional physiotherapy team to develop a tailored approach for achieving personal health and wellness objectives.
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When Should You Commence Physiotherapy?
In severe cases, it is best to commence physiotherapy as soon as possible. However, it does vary from case to case. Your physiotherapist has some nifty tricks to improve your pain straight away.
If you are unsure what to do, please call us for advice. We’ll happily guide you in your time of need. Often a bit of reassurance is all that you will need.
How Much Treatment Will You Need?
After assessing your injury, your physiotherapist will discuss the injury severity with you and estimate the number of treatments needed. No two injuries are ever the same.
Your treatment will include techniques and exercises to regain your:
- joint, ligament and soft tissue mobility
- muscle strength, power and speed
- balance and proprioception
- prevention tips
- performance improvement.
What If You Delay Treatment?
Research tells us that symptoms lasting longer than three months become habitual and are much harder to solve. This can lead to nastier conditions. The sooner you get on top of your symptoms, the better your outcome.
All injuries are different, and little variations can significantly improve your recovery rate. Stiff joints or muscles may need some range of movement exercises. Other injuries may require massage or particular strengthening exercises.
Seek professional guidance promptly for your best outcome.