Recently, there have been new recommendations for acute injury management protocols, and our trusted physiotherapist, Alex Balnaves, has taken the time to write them up into a user-friendly guide below, but please make sure you take the time to get your injuries checked by a physio.
Unload and/or restrict the movement of the injured area for the first 1 to 3 days to minimise bleeding and reduce the risk of further damage.
Elevate limb above the heart to limit fluid accumulation in the injured tissue.
Avoid anti-inflammatory medications
Inflammation is your body’s own healing response. Anti-inflammatory medications can slow down tissue healing by hindering this process.
Apply compression to injured tissue to help push fluid out of the tissue and reduce swelling
It is important to speak to your physiotherapist to obtain an accurate diagnosis of your injury, which allows for the appropriate advice and rehabilitation can commence.
Once the first few days have passed, soft tissues need some LOVE
Once the initial stage of healing has passed, it is important to begin gentle loading to reduce the loss of strength and/or function of the injured tissues. Your physiotherapist will provide you with advice on what is safe to do with your specific injury.
Having a positive mindset when completing rehabilitation is vital as this has been shown to enhance rehabilitation outcomes in musculoskeletal injuries (ankle sprains, muscle tears/strains, etc).
It is important to get the blood flowing through the injured tissues to allow for nutrients and oxygen to aid the healing process. Early pain-free cardiovascular exercise is a great way to improved function, work status, and reduce the need for pain medications.
When completing rehabilitation for all musculoskeletal injuries it is important to understand that while some functions are limited, there are still plenty of exercises that are safe to do. It is important to ensure that the muscles and joints surrounding the injury maintain strength and function as this will allow for a smooth return back to pre-injury activities.