Below is some advice on what to do if you suffer and injury.
So when you contact me for an appointment, what I tend to find is most people are not aware of basic steps that you need to follow. There are certain time frames that can be crucial to the healing process and will aid your recovery time, save you time in your rehabilitation and then MONEY with Therapist like myself. At the consultation appointment with me, I will assess and speak with you about your problems, any indications or triggers that may have caused your injury.
First stage of injury
Therapist in the sports world call this the "Acute Stage" and this stage usually lasts between 1 - 4 days (there is no actual timescale). What I tend to find is that most of my clients will call me up and tell me about an injury they have, and how they have been putting heat on the area to help ease symptoms, STOP! believe it but this is the complete opposite to what you should be doing. There are many different theories into this, but in my opinion this is the best form to help my clients.
During this stage it is very important that you use the R.I.C.E principle
(Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation).
As soon as the injury occurs get an Ice pack on the area, compress it tight, sit down (if possible) and try to get the area above you heart level. Doing this will reduce swelling, limit inflammation and improve your recovery time. What I say to my clients is 15 - 20 mins at one time, make sure that you have at least 90 minutes before re-applying. Continue this process until pain reduces with movement and you are able to move the area without pain.
Second stage of injury
This stage "Sub Acute" of recovery is a vital stage for recovery. We can now look at treating your injury hands on with massage therapy, Dry Needling and other various types of treatment. The body will tend to move into this stage around the 3-5 day marl post injury and can last as along as 3-5 weeks. At this stage symptoms can range from stiffness, a short range of motion (ROM) around a joint and stiff be presenting swelling of the tissues to weakness within the muscle tissue affected.
Now you can start to look at treatments from sports therapist like myself. A good sports therapist will inform you of this at your first point of contact, should be they asking the right questions. If treatment is performed to soon it can actually cause a muscle to regress and you will end up having to start the process of the "Acute Stage" all over again. In your treatment session we shall look at the best way to progress, and we're start to look at getting some ROM back to the area, and reducing the inflammation. My treatments at this stage can be painful I won't lie, but never painful that its not within your tolerance level as i want you to be comfortable at the treatment.
Third stage of injury
This is the injury healing stage. Without no end dates, as many different injuries have such varied time scales for complete recovery, every type of injury is different, wether its a calf injury on one person to the next person the time scale will vary. Scar tissue begins to form and bind the muscle fibres together so it can repair. Now, scar tissue is not a flexible as regular muscle tissue, and if left not treated can make the muscle, tendon or ligament less supple and prone to re-injuring. Sometimes Scar tissue formation won't present its self in normal day to day activity but as soon as you attempt to resume the activity in which the injury happened, "Bang", pain followed by tightness sets in, it's always painful and he we go, another injury in the same area. Now if you have followed a good program for recovery, you can reduce the percentage for a thickening and less flexible scar tissue. We want the scar tissue to form, but under the correct stresses. We shall provide you with guidance for exercise, how much you should and shouldn't be doing, as well along side your treatments, this is why it is so important to complete a treatment program and not to stop this as soon as the injury site feels better. Finally we shall look to get you back into your sports and hobbies.