Phase 1 - Control Pain and Swelling. Most people are surprised to discover how their injury and the ensuing recovery period can lead to muscle weakness and loss of endurance. Objective measures of muscle weakness and atrophy are commonly seen after injury and surgery within 4-6 weeks. Minimizing muscle loss and strength deficits are important rehabilitation goals set out in your physical therapy program.
After the healing process has begun, the next step is to start regaining movement and mobility. The primary goal of the repair step is to gently relax the body to pre-injury range-of-motion (ROM) levels, or as close to pre-injury levels as possible. Gentle soft tissue exercises and range of motion are important to start this stage, so that it doesn't stretch too far or aggravate the injury. Flexibility exercises can also help prevent the long-term effects of decreased range of motion or function.
Small weights can be used during exercises if safe to do so, but more intensive strength training is not recommended at this time. Once your range of motion has been restored as best as possible, the next stage of physical rehabilitation is to begin to regain strength. Resting during the recovery phase can cause muscle atrophy or wasting that leads to weakness and loss of endurance. In the strength stage, the goal is to minimize these losses and return to pre-injury muscle strength and endurance levels, along with cardiovascular endurance.
With the use of weight machines, strength training can be performed safely and accurately, while reducing the risk of aggravating injuries or risking further injury. This is an incredible advantage and makes them excellent tools for rehabilitation. Proper protection and discharge are vital for a number of reasons. First, it protects the affected area from further damage.
Take the example of a fracture, muscle tear, or ligament injury, all of which will require some level of protection to protect them in the early stages. Second, protection not only prevents the injury from worsening, but also promotes an internal environment to support healing. It is worth noting that during the first few days after injury, inflammation progressively increases, associated with the breakdown and removal of damaged tissue and debris from the injury site. The protective phase refers to the first few days after the injury.
You're still in pain and you may have noticeable swelling and bruising in the affected area. The protective phase, the first phase of recovery, can last two to four days, depending on the severity of the injury. This is the “Rest and Protect” phase of recovery. This stage includes swelling and possible bleeding around the affected area.
Your body's goal here is to protect your injury from further damage by limiting movement and recruiting supportive tissues to relieve additional pressure. If you suffered a severe ankle sprain, the protective phase may involve wearing a compression bandage or crutch for a few days and avoiding activities that increase pain or swelling. If you have had a knee injury, the initial protective phase may involve tying your knee with a belt and having an examination to better understand the extent of the injury. The next phase of recovery is the repair phase.
This occurs after swelling or bleeding has subsided and usually lasts up to six weeks after the injury. In this phase, the body is depositing new scar tissue. This reduces the need to protect the injury as much as the new scar tissue matures and becomes stronger. The next stage is the remodeling phase.
This usually lasts between six weeks and three months after the injury. In this phase, the body begins to teach scar tissue to behave like the tissue it has replaced. It produces additional new tissue to help strengthen and support healed scar tissue so that you can meet the demands of your normal physical activity. Physical therapists are specialists in sports injuries and orthopedic rehabilitation and are uniquely qualified to help you get going and improve post-injury success levels.
Subacute care is usually performed in hospitals, homes, health centers, or specialized rehabilitation centers. If you are injured and want to fully recover after an injury, adhering to a proper rehabilitation framework and program is essential. The rehabilitation of the injured athlete is managed by a multidisciplinary team with a doctor who acts as the leader and coordinator of care. Providing the patient with a program to keep the uninvolved areas in optimal condition, rather than just rehabilitating the injured area, will help to better prepare the patient physically and psychologically for when the injured area is fully rehabilitated.
In addition to the rehabilitation of the specific area of the lesion, it is essential not to lose sight of all other conditioning. The team includes, among others, sports doctors, physiatrists (rehabilitation medicine practitioners), orthopedists, physical therapists, rehabilitation workers, physical educators, coaches, sports coaches, psychologists and nutritionists. The rehabilitation team works closely with the athlete and coach to set rehabilitation goals, analyze progress resulting from various interventions, and establish the time frame for athletes' return to training and competition. They can help reduce pain and edema to allow for an exercise-based rehabilitation program to take place.
This phase of injury rehabilitation can include restoring coordination and balance, improving speed, agility and sport-specific skills, from simple to complex. For example, setting daily and weekly goals in the rehabilitation process that will end in a long-term goal, such as returning to play after an injury. To regain early-stage range of motion, careful preparation for soft tissue and joint mobilization, as recommended by your physical therapist, is a vital part of your rehabilitation. The sooner patients can begin the exercise portion of the rehabilitation program, the sooner they can return to full activity.
It is essential that rehabilitation and training be vigorous enough to prepare injured tissue for the demands of the game. Therefore, exercise involving the injured area is not recommended during this phase, although there are some exceptions such as tendinopathy protocols used to rehabilitate Achilles tendon and kneecap injuries. . .