Words by Lyndsey Henderson – Senior Physiotherapist and Director of My Mobile Physio.
Many of us rely on our ability to exercise in order to remain fit and healthy, manage stress and maintain good mental health. So when injury strikes, it can be incredibly frustrating, as the inability to maintain a regular exercise routine can prove difficult to cope with.
As a physiotherapist who has treated hundreds of people with injuries over the years, I’m going to share with you my top tips to mounting a quick and safe recovery after injury. Read carefully!
- Seek professional help early: Although many injuries will heal in their own time, many others require specialised stretching, mobilisation and strengthening to increase healing time and prevent re-injury. Be sure to book an appointment with your physiotherapist early on to set yourself on the road to a fast recovery.
- Rest: Rest from painful exercise or movement is essential in the early stages of an injury. You should not do anything that reproduces your pain for the first few days and seek advice from your physiotherapist as to how and when to start moving the injured area.
- Ice: Ice is an excellent treatment tool for the initial few days post-injury to help reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. Apply an ice pack for up to 20 minutes every 2-to-3 hours after the initial injury.
- Compression and elevation: If it’s possible to apply a compressive bandage or elastic support to the injury, this will help to control any swelling and bleeding within the first few days post- injury. Elevation of an injury in the first few days is also very helpful. Obviously some injuries are impossible to elevate, so please use your common sense and be guided by your pain.
- Rehab: Rehabilitation following injury is the most important part of recovery. If you don’t rehab an injury properly, then it will be extremely difficult to reach your maximum potential, and you are more likely to re-injure yourself. Let your physiotherapist guide you through your recovery with the optimal rehab program.
- Stay positive: An injury can be a humbling experience and challenging both physically and mentally. Having a positive outlook is pivotal to a successful recovery. Focus on your recovery and how you can enhance it, rather than the negative impact it is having. Eat healthily, sleep well and minimise stress.
Remember, if you sustain an injury, don’t panic! Heed my 6 top tips to getting back on the road to a quick and safe recovery.
Lyndsey is the Senior Physiotherapist and Director of My Mobile Physio – a highly skilled, professional physiotherapy service provided in a location that suits you, whether at home, work or at the gym. Contact My Mobile Physio on 1300 79 12 49 or visit www.mymobilephysio.com.au.