Getting Early Treatment for Faster Injury Recovery
Treatment • January 28, 2019
By Dr. Lauren Quattrocchi, DC
It’s a New Year, a fresh start and with that comes lots of resolutions and goals. A very popular resolution many people set during the first few months of a new year is getting healthier and becoming more active. Although there are many different aspects of what defines “healthy” and ways you can approach it, most people start by getting a gym membership and getting active.
During this time of year we tend to be quite motivated and consistent with the goals we have set out for ourselves. The last thing anyone would want is to sustain an injury, which could prevent and or create delays in achieving our goals.
Injuries at this time of year tend to become more common, as many of us begin to perform activities and movements that are new to our bodies. Whether you have hired a personal trainer, joined a class, or are working out in your basement, the risk of an injury is high as we are performing new movements and applying higher demands on our tissues.
Let’s say you get injured and you are no longer able to keep up with your routine and complete all the activities that you had scheduled. There are a few options;
You could continue to work through the pain and potentially make the injury worse.
You could stop your activity for a period of time, give your body some rest and hope it heals on its own.
You could seek advice and/or therapy to speed up the healing process and potentially not have to take any time off of the gym.
Many individuals who have sustained soft tissue injuries in the past have sought out care to help manage the injury. As a health care professional, my goal is to not only treat your aches and pains but also help prevent them from happening.
We often find ourselves questioning how early is too early to get treatment and how much rest is best?
An article published in the New England Journal of Medicine was able to give some insight and provide some answers to these questions. The study looked at 50 athletes with acute muscle injuries (strains/tears). One group of athletes started treatment 2 days after an acute muscle injury versus the second group started treatment 9 days after the injury. Both groups used the EXACT same therapy protocol throughout the treatment plan. The athletes who started treatment 2 days post injury were able to return to their respective activity 3 weeks earlier compared to the other group. Therefore starting treatment 7 days earlier saved 21 days in the end.
Now we know that REST is not necessarily the best option. Research has also found that immobilization (rest) can quickly and negatively affect muscle and tendon structure/function and has detrimental effects on connective tissue cells.
If you find yourself sustaining an injury or experiencing some aches or pains from your workouts then do not be shy to seek advice or therapy from a health care professional. Remember the sooner you get treatment the quicker you will be back to your activities and achieving your goals.