How to speed up recovery from an injury with physiotherapy
Ever suffered from an injury and wished that it would go away quickly? FysioCity explains the nature of injuries and how physiotherapy can speed up recovery time.
The first thing to understand about injuries are self-limiting conditions. These are complaints that the body can resolve by itself.
If you get a strain in your muscle, there is an average recovery time of two to four weeks. Conversely, a muscle tear requires a longer recovery time of six to eight weeks and a bone fracture can take up to ten weeks.
With these types of injuries, bodies find a solution to heal these injuries naturally: cells have the ability to heal themselves and replenish those that have been permanently damaged or destroyed. The body responds to injury quickly and even the smallest injuries cause an army of immune cells and blood cells to rush to the injury site.
The healing process can be divided into four stages:
- Hemostasis: Blood clot that forms at the site of an injury
- Inflammation: Irritation that forms as a result of white blood cells
- Proliferation: Reproduction of new cells
- Remodelling: Tissues reform
The body compensates for injuries
If moving - with or without pain - is no longer possible, the body will find a different way to move around the pain. This happens subconsciously, so most people don’t even realise that they have been moving differently for weeks, or even months, to avoid the pain.
This so-called "compensatory behaviour" can often be more persistent than the original complaint because it is an ingrained habit that must be unlearned and requires a lot of patience and dedication.
What is more, people often only seek help when their injury is at an advanced stage, at which point therapy is focused mainly on combatting the symptoms rather than attending to the root cause of the injury.
Prevention and early detection are the key
A common phrase that is heard regarding injuries - especially in the Netherlands - is, “It will go away by itself”. Considering the self-recovering capability of the human body, this thought is not entirely misguided. However, this type of thinking can contribute to developing compensatory behaviour that prolongs the injury and alters the body permanently.
That’s why it’s important to visit a physiotherapist within the first 24 to 48 hours of noticing an injury or ailment. Addressing the injury at an early stage can mean the difference between a quick, effective recovery and a slow one with potentially lingering complaints.
Physiotherapy can be a great help
With some simple advice, massage techniques or stretching exercises, a complaint can be relieved within a few hours and compensatory behaviour avoided.
Of course, whilst physiotherapists can have a good idea of which movements could be causing the complaint, only the client can identify which specific behaviours in their daily lives are problematic.
Some of the most common physical complaints are the result of sedentary jobs, repetitive movements, or chronic, psychological stress.
Innovation and client journey
Healthcare requires innovation, both in the approach of the physiotherapist as in the entire treatment process. The care provided by the physiotherapist does not only involve what happens on the treatment table, but all the other aspects that have to do with the client journey.
The client-journey consists of all moments of contact and guidance that the physiotherapist offers his patients. Can the client get an appointment quickly or is there a waiting period? Is the client taken into the exercise room for a correct explanation of a movement or is there only symptom control? Is the very root of the problem explained for a better awareness of what is going on physiologically? All these aspects contribute to a pleasant customer experience, but more importantly; a speedy recovery.
Healthcare consumers are becoming increasingly critical. The distinctive character of a practice and the presence of different specialities is important. This calls for entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity. Thinking about the positioning of the practice and formulating a clear vision for the future is key.
Prevention and vitality
The physiotherapy healthcare model is transitioning from a focus on illness and care to a focus on health and behaviour.
Vitality stands for the positive power of healthy living. This means being consciously engaged with your health, striving for mental fitness and participating in society in the best possible way.
Vitality is a feeling that results from consistent effort and work. An example of a practice that contributes to this feeling is starting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet.
A heightened vitality can lead to a longer life span and an improved sense of wellbeing. On the other hand, neglecting physical activity and not taking care of your body, can increase the risk of injury and illness.
With the professional guidance of prevention-based physiotherapy, you can ensure that you will lead a life of higher quality and feel your best.
FysioCity offers quick online booking for appointments with experienced physiotherapists. They also offer flexible, extended hours with the possibility to book an appointment the next day and even on weekends at their locations in Amsterdam. You also don't need a referral from your GP to see one of their physiotherapists and they are affiliated with all Dutch health insurers.
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