By Peter Thompson
Chiropractor & Osteopath
Recovery from injury and so called sprain/strain conditions involves establishing and maintaining an appropriate environment for tissues to heal. This healing will require a variety of strategically implemented activities that, if appropriately timed, will optimize the body’s recovery and minimize ongoing effects of the initial injury.
Clinical experience teaches that a ‘window of healing’ exists after injury. The body mobilizes its repair mechanisms and for a period of time. This accelerates repair and may last for 2 to 6 weeks post injury.
During this time avoiding activities that place high demand on the structures involved with the injury is very important. Progressive lengthening of the tissues using non-weight bearing, limited range of motion and painless stretching is useful.
‘Active Recovery’ using gentle, low intensity movements that mimic common daily movements are also helpful.
Progressively increasing activities such as swimming and walking, combined with guided stretching such as yoga, is recommended.
Use of alternating moist heat and moist ice packs can be used to ‘pump’ depleted inflammatory fluid and blood from the injury site and replace it with fresh fluids.
It should be understood that the recovery is a dynamic process that is enhanced by mindful assistance, not thoughtless avoidance.