Many of us participate in recreational sports or even professional sports. Unfortunately, sometimes we get injured. An acute injury occurs suddenly during an activity and is the result of a single traumatic event. There is an obvious link between cause and symptoms and acute injuries also result in macro-trauma to muscle tissue. High contact sports, such as hockey, soccer, basketball and rugby, often result in these injuries. For example, getting a sprained ankle, a strained back, injured knee or a fractured hand. Working with physiotherapists helps with the recovery of an acute injury by creating a program to minimize tissue damage, protect from the further injury and to promote faster recovery.
How physiotherapy helps your acute injury
Accurate diagnosis and management of the inflammatory process early on is vital for successful recovery after an injury. Skilled physiotherapists know this and will bring you to the repair phase of recovery sooner and will allow you to return to participating in sports. An assessment with a physiotherapist will provide you with important information about your acute injury.
During an assessment, the physiotherapist will note down your history and history of your injury, perform a physical assessment if the injured area and relevant structures, gather information such as your referral, history, mechanism, sports, imaging, and special tests and assessment. Finally, the physiotherapist will use this information to put together your customized rehabilitation plan. They may also contact your physician and/or refer you to specialists for further diagnostic tests. Once there is an accurate diagnosis, your physiotherapist will guide you through the initiation of the injury management process. You may be asked to use modalities to help minimize the damaging effects of inflammation. Next, you will work towards regaining range of motions and strength by performing prescribed exercises. Whether it is a shoulder, neck, knee or back injury, by following the prescribed exercise program, you will be well on your way to recovery!
The first five days following an acute injury
The first five days after an injury are the most important.
Days 1-2: seek medical help. See you physician and book an assessment with a physiotherapist. Early intervention is vital to diagnosis and quick recovery. You may need to protect the injured joint with tape or a brace.
Days 2-5: work with your physiotherapist to begin gentle range of motion. You may be instructed to follow a Cryokinetics Program, which uses ice and progressive exercises, to treat your injury 24-48 hours post injury. This program is effective in promoting healing and preventing atrophy and a loss of conditioning.
Physiotherapists use the following treatment techniques during the recovery process:
- Active exercises to restore flexibility, strength, endurance and balance
- Manual Therapy for joint restrictions or stiffness
- Trigger Point Dry Needling to manage trigger points and neuropathic pain
- Myofascial release techniques for short, tight muscles and soft tissue
- Ultrasound and other electrotherapy agents for management of acute injuries
- Stabilization with tape or bracing
- Proprioceptive taping for movement retraining and control (i.e. Kinesiotape)
- Acupuncture for management of pain/ swelling
Physiotherapists are an excellent resource in getting you back to your healthy, active lifestyle. They are trained to work with athletes of all levels, from weekend warriors to professional athletes. Speak with one of our trained physiotherapists today to begin your journey in regaining your peak performance!