physiotherapy

Accidents happen, but when they do, they hurt. Whether you stepped off the kerb the wrong way or strained your back while carrying your groceries, it’s hard to predict when injuries happen. While it can be tempting to brush it off and allow your injury to heal by yourself, doing this can make it worse, making it essential to get a physical assessment right away.

Looking after yourself when you’re injured is crucial for ensuring you recover correctly and prevent similar instances from happening in the future. Here’s what you should know about what your body does when it is injured and how soon you need to start physiotherapy:

What Happens When You’re Injured?

It’s often easy to tell when you’re injured: you feel pain, and the site is red, swollen, and tender. This reaction is called inflammation, and it is your body’s instant response to injury when it starts flushing out damaged cells and creating white blood cells, which fight off infection. It then increases blood flow to the area with extra blood cells filled with proteins and fluids that tend to the injured tissue and work to repair it.

While your body has an excellent natural healing process, there are a few things you can do to expedite it, which is where seeing a physiotherapist can help. They can also teach you how to treat your injury early to prevent infection from settling in and wreaking havoc on your body.

Treating Your Injury Early

Physiotherapists previously recommended RICE or rest, ice, compression, and elevation as the first thing you should do when you’re injured. While some of these steps help treat your injury, the objective was to prevent inflammation, which is the mechanism your body uses to begin healing. Preventing inflammation stops your body from delivering more blood full of infection-fighting cells.

Now, physiotherapists use different protocols known as PEACE and LOVE. PEACE, which stands for Protection, Elevation, Avoid anti-inflammatory mechanisms, Compression, and Education, takes place over the first few days. LOVE, which stands for Load, Optimism, Vascularisation, and Exercise, takes place in the first few days after the injury. 

The PEACE and LOVE Protocols

Under the PEACE protocol, “protection” means rest and avoiding movements and exercises that cause pain. “Elevation” means to raise the injured part to encourage fluid drainage. “Avoid anti-inflammatory mechanisms” means to stay away from medicines like ibuprofen and not icing the area since this can disrupt inflammation, delaying the delivery of white blood cells. “Compression” means applying pressure through a compression bandage, which will reduce swelling in a joint. “Education” covers learning how to recover optimally from your injury and feeling confident in your body’s ability to bounce back. 

On the other hand, the “Load” in the LOVE protocol highlights the need to find the proper movement or exercise that improves musculoskeletal injuries. “Optimism” is your approach toward your injury, which will impact your recovery, making it crucial to have a positive mindset. “Vascularisation” covers cardiovascular activity, which increases blood flow to the injured area. “Exercise,” as implied, involves specific movements that will help you restore your strength and mobility.

When Should You See a Physiotherapist?

If you have a soft tissue injury, you may want to wait two to three days before seeing a physiotherapist. That way, your body can start healing itself and make the pain and swelling subside. However, some injuries require immediate attention, like if you’re in severe pain, you cannot take more than a few steps with an injured leg, and you have back pain accompanied by numbness, tingling, or difficulty controlling your bladder or bowels. 

Conclusion

Physiotherapists play a crucial role in recovering from an injury as they know how the body works. They can help you regain mobility, strength, function, flexibility, and confidence after getting an injury and preventing it from happening again. By using our guide, you’ll know the appropriate time to see a physiotherapist.

Invigor Health offers affordable physiotherapy in Bondi Beach to help you address your injuries. We also carry out movement screening focusing on injury prevention to help you get back on your feet and enjoy life pain-free. Contact us today for a consultation.

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