To protect or to move after injury?

One of the most common statement we get asked by our patients is “I am not sure what to do, Do I rest or keep using it?”  We hope that the following information helps give you some idea of what to do after an acute injury.

Resting and limiting movement of the injured area, also known as ‘immobilisation’, has beneficial effects in the early phase of muscle regeneration and is crucial for fracture healing. However, lengthy immobilisation has detrimental effects; it causes joint stiffness, degenerative changes in articular cartilage and muscle weakness.

Complete immobilisation is primarily required for acute fractures and occasionally in severe soft tissue injuries. This can be achieved through the use of bracing, splints, casting and taping.

Mobilisation, on the other hand, has numerous tissue benefits. One way to achieve early, but safe, mobilisation is by ‘protected mobilisation’. This term refers to the use of protective taping or bracing to prevent movement in a direction that would cause excessive stress on an injured structure, whilst non-injured structures are still allowed to move. This allows enough movement to prevent stiffness, improve nourishment of the articular cartilage and maintain strength, while still protecting the damage ligament.

Early mobilisation in acute limb injuries (e.g. ankle sprains, stable fractures) decreases pain and swelling, and improves functional outcome compared to cast immobilisation.

Remember that appropriate treatment is dependent on accurate diagnosis. So seek physiotherapy treatment early, and let Vibe help you recover and get back to living life faster!

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