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When should you see a Physiotherapist?

“I thought I’d let the swelling go down before coming to Physio!”……

 A misguided statement heard very commonly in Physiotherapy practice.

Unfortunately the only benefit of this mindset is the length of time you have to enjoy your Physiotherapist’s company during your recovery!

There is conclusive evidence that ‘early accurate assessment and prompt appropriate treatment is much better than delay’.

 Physiotherapy treatment for acute soft tissue injuries with a few days has many benefits:

Quicker pain relief

  • This can be achieved via local modalities such as ice, heat and electrotherapy which have short term benefits to assist with the earlier introduction of longer lasting techniques such as exercise prescription.
  • It can be helpful to think of these passive treatments as you would analgesia and anti inflammatory medications which can help you to achieve your activities of daily living until the injury is resolved.

Improving scar tissue quality

  • Massage, dry needling and joint mobilisation are useful in restoring normal joint motion.

Faster return to work and sport

  • The quicker the tissue returns to its normal quality the greater the return to normal function.
  • Protective strapping or bracing may be beneficial in the sub acute phase and early intervention from your Physiotherapist can avoid longer term dependence on such aids.

 Strengthening and stretching of the injured zone

  • Exercise has been shown to be a very effective method to speed up recovery, reduce pain and achieve a faster return to activity.
  • This may include specific stretches, local and core strengthening exercises, balance retraining, posture correction and sport/function readiness exercises.

All of these techniques can improve your sport and work performance.

“I’ve never needed Physio for my injuries before”

“My team mate didn’t need Physio after the same injury”

So what happens if you just let it rest?

  • Yes you may get better but research tells us that injuries without treatment take longer the heal and very often result in persistent pain.
  • Perhaps the reason you have re-injured is because you haven’t had treatment before.

Soft tissue injuries are more likely to recur without treatment because you are left with abnormal scar tissue, joint stiffness and muscle weakness.

Once an injury becomes chronic (after approximately 6 weeks) they are harder and take longer to treat.

Does your team mate suffer from the same injuries every season?
exercise injury

Physiotherapists treat both acute and chronic injuries.

Total Physiocare musculoskeletal Physiotherapists can assist you with managing injuries of normal tissue that have suffered an abnormal load (tears, sprains and strains) and abnormal tissue under normal load (arthritic degeneration). Click here to find your nearest Total Physiocare location.

cartoonWritten by Rebecca Linnane