Acute Injury – or the inflammatory stage, can continue for up to 72 hours after the initial injury- redness, swelling, pain when resting and lack of function at the site occurs. This is the time to seek treatment, as it can be easier to recover quickly at this early stage.
Overuse Injuries – Occur from errors when training, and when a sport or exercise/activity is carried out for too long or too fast. Without adequate rest and recovery time, continuous specific exercises when only certain muscles or bones are used, will fail. Poor technique and overloading of weights will result in pain, tingling, weakness, and dysfunction.
Chronic Injuries – once acute and perhaps ignored in the hope that the injury will heal without treatment and continues for three months or more. The longer the injury goes without treatment, dysfunction grows, pain increases, flare ups happen, and chronic pain continues. Chronic injuries are much harder to repair and take longer to treat. Administering certain massage techniques such as deep tissue massage, trigger pointing, and friction will re-injury the site, with mobility and stretching of the area to introduce correct repair, before a specific rehabilitation exercise programme can be introduced.
If you want to recover from an injury well, the first approach is to recognise you have an issue and to seek treatment as soon as possible. The right rehab programme is essential in determining the recovery time and what function you get back.
Resting the area is a key element in helping the body from causing further damage. It allows healing to start without the added strain of re-igniting the injury from too much too soon. However, with rest comes ice. Acute injuries respond well in the first stages of injury with ice, ice, and more ice.
Icepacks are inevitably in every person’s freezer if an injury has been sustained before. It helps sooth and cool the area, allowing new blood to circulate, carrying much needed nutrients, and swelling to subside.
Cover the Ice/Icepack in a damp tea towel (to stop ice burn). No more than 20 mins, 3 or 4 x a day whilst treatment continues.
Anti-inflammatories or medication to control pain can also help but seeking medical advice before going along this course of action is advised.
Equipment may also be necessary, such as tape, splint, or sling to protect the area.
Mobility, specific stretching, and soft tissue work will promote flexibility and initial range of motion of the affected area in the acute stage. This is all done in a controlled manner and not forced. Advice will be given on how much aftercare you must do yourself before the next appointment.
With injury comes muscle weakness. Keeping fit and active to maintain your endurance is very important for your health and wellbeing. Along with this, specific strength and endurance exercises for the injury site will be introduced, along with keeping up mobility, flexibility, and ice/heat treatments allowing increased range of motion, new blood, and nutrients to promote healing. Re-education to exercise the area with good form, proper technique and strengthening local, regional, and peripheral muscles.
This phase of rehabilitation introduces specific exercises to restore co-ordination, and balance, improve speed, agility and sport-specific skills progressing from simple to complex.
Not every person or injury is the same. However, the way injuries are treated are extremely similar in their execution if you take the first step. The above information explains how to get control back of function that is lost. Any injury impacts on everyday life, the activity or sport you love and takes a huge toll on your mental health if not tackled head on.
Time to get started!