How Long After an Injury Should You Go to Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is part of post-injury recovery, strength building, weight loss, and other health and fitness regimens. Injury patients need rest and rehabilitation to reach maximum medical recovery. Each injury is unique, so some may require a few days of rest while others will take months. So when should physical therapy begin?
Get Professional Advice
It’s vital to consult an experienced physiotherapist before starting any workouts. Injuries need time and patience, especially if the damage to muscles, ligaments, or bones is severe. Working with a licensed and experienced physiotherapist can help you identify the best time to start a physical therapy session.
Injuries can cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and poor muscle activation as the blood flow to the area increases. The therapist will consider two factors; chronic issues and secondary injuries. A physiotherapist can help determine if there’s a need for a session to avoid developing chronic problems. They can also work around an existing medical condition.
Professional physiotherapists recommend enough time to avoid secondary injuries. Moving too soon can tear up the new bonds and prolong the healing process. Resting for too long is even worse and may prevent maximum recovery, increasing the vulnerability to secondary injuries. Physiotherapists also monitor developments and recommend the ideal time to begin physio.
Post-Injury Physiotherapy for Common Injuries
Injuries are different and take varying recovery durations. Several factors influence the recovery time, so no two patients will have the same journey.
Some have underlying medical conditions requiring more patient approaches.
Others have an active lifestyle and are likely to recover much quicker. Injury severity also varies. It’s possible to draw average recovery durations for specific injuries because of existing medical data.
1. Hamstring Strains
The hamstring is found in the back of the upper leg and protects the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). It’s one of the most important muscle groups for athletes, and injuries fall into three grades. Hamstring injuries require one to three weeks of recovery before resuming the sport. Some cases can take longer, depending on subject factors like re-injury, damage to surrounding parts, and severity of the sprain.
2. Shoulder Injuries
The shoulder structures are intertwined and may suffer injury in many different ways. Shoulder injuries often take longer to heal before physiotherapy is feasible. The recovery duration depends on the type of injury. Shoulder sprain patients should rest for two to three weeks, while those with rotator cuff tendinitis may take two to four weeks. Severe cases can take months, so it’s vital to consult an experienced physiotherapist early.
3. Patellofemoral Pain
Also known as runner’s knee, patellofemoral pain is a common injury stemming from overuse of the patella. It accounts for up to 25% of reported knee pain in the US. Runner’s knee symptoms can increase with walking, jogging, running, and other conventional workouts. Patients are usually transferred immediately to physiotherapy after diagnosis to start healing and recovering range of motion.
4. Tennis & Golf Elbow
Repeated strain on the elbow joints, such as that caused when playing golf and tennis, can result in dull aching pain. The pain will increase when exploring sports, typing, or performing other activities that call on the elbow joint. People with tennis/golf elbow may need physiotherapy to restore flexibility and strengthen the joint. The physiotherapist will recommend sessions immediately after diagnosis.
5. Sciatica & Disk Hernia
Heavy lifting and long hours of sitting or wrong posture can stress the sciatic nerves, leading to sciatica. The same can also affect spinal discs causing herniation. Sciatica can heal with home remedies like rest, massage, and cold/hot compress. If nothing changes after a week