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Part 2: Injuries - How Do I treat them?

In part 2 of this series of injuries, I want to talk about how we go about treating injuries.


Depending on the stage of the injury and the nature of the injury, various treatments would be incorporated to speed up the recovery of the injury.


Typically, there are 3 stages of progression for an injury - acute, sub-acute, and chronic.


1. Acute stage: 48-72 hours post injury

  • in the acute stage, there will be signs of inflammation

  • Signs of inflammation include redness, heat, swelling, pain, muscle weakness, loss of mobility


2. Sub-acute stage: 4 to 21 days post injury

  • in the sub-acute stage, the signs of inflammation will reduce

  • Range of motion and strength will increase


3. Chronic stage: 3 weeks / months / years post injury

  • signs of inflammation will be gone

  • pain has diminished significantly

  • range of motion and strength has returned


Within all these stages, a large component of recovering quickly is trying to return to baseline function as soon as possible. What that would mean is that if you were able to walk, bend forward and touch your toes and sleep with no problem, the goal would be to restore the ability to walk, bend forwards and touch your toes and sleep well as quickly as possible. As the function of the body improves, so does pain and other symptoms often resolve too.






An important concept to note is that timelines do vary depending on the nature of the condition, how long the condition has been going on for, and an individual's previous history of injuries.

  • If you have been wrestling with a nagging issue for 1-2 years, it will probably take longer to heal than a 1 month old injury.

  • if you are experiencing neck pain and have had in the past 2 car accidents, it will probably take longer to heal than someone who has had only 1 car accident.


Treatment Strategies


To make the most of your recovery, this can be accomplished through a combination of manual therapy and movements involving stretching and strengthening at the site of symptoms and previously injured sites that may also be affecting the symptoms (unique to each individual).


For myself, I will outline 3 different ways in which I utilize manual therapy


  1. Soft Tissue Mobilizations - this technique focusses on reducing muscle tension, loosening up scar tissue and increasing range of motion

  2. Joint/Bone Mobilizations - this technique focusses on restoring joint flexibility to enable the joint to move through its full range of motion

  3. P-DTR (Proprioceptive Deep Tendon Reflex) - this technique focusses on restoring proper communication between muscles and the brain to allow for better body awareness and muscle function *as P-DTR is a huge part of my practice, a deeper dive into this will be explored further in a future post

In combination with manual therapy, another component towards making a strong recovery is performing stretching and strengthening exercises. It is imperative to move and challenge the body. In the presence of trauma or injury to the body, the body will tend to slowly and gradually decline in function and capacity. So if the body is not challenged, either re-injury will occur or progress will stall. What movement looks like will vary between individuals depending on the level of pain the individual is experiencing. If the pain is high and there is significant inflammation, more emphasis will be focussed on light and gentle movements. In contrast, if the pain is low, more emphasis will be focussed on more challenging movements.




Stretching and strengthening exercises are typically recommended to be performed ranging from 2-3 times per week to daily. The purpose of this frequency is to reduce pain and to regain function as quickly as possible.


Take Home Points

  • Focus on improving the function and the pain will reduce as well.

  • Treating the body sooner than later will speed up the recovery process.

  • Manual therapy and self care through stretching and strengthening is a strong combination to optimize the recovery process.


I hope you learned a few things today and found it helpful for your journey to recovery! If you have any questions about anything I wrote about today, please email me at zacharyhumphysiotherapy@gmail.com


Interested to learn personally about how I work and how I can help you? - Come in for a free 15 minute consultation!


Ready to learn more about your body at a deeper level? - Book your appointment today!







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