HEALING SHOULDN’T END WHEN YOU WALK
OUT THE DOOR AFTER PHYSICAL THERAPY
If you or someone you know has ever had to visit a physical therapist after an injury or physical impairment of some kind, you know how much work goes into the rehabilitation process. When patients graduate rehab, physical therapists (PTs) will encourage their patients to stay active and continue to stretch and strengthen the injured area.
If you, as a patient were already doing those things prior to your physical therapy, then you may have a pretty good idea what to focus on to improve fitness once you have been released from the care of your PT. If you were not too physically active before the injury, you may not really know what to do, or even if you are doing it correctly.
It’s important to receive the best possible care AFTER you have been released from the PT so that the injury doesn’t reoccur. Did you know it takes a sprained ankle nine months to completely heal? That’s well after you have been released from physical therapy. Therefore, finding some ways to keep moving ahead with your recovery is really all up to you!
Here are two ways to regain your strength and flexibility:
1. YOGA. One form of after-care which is highly recommended by many PTs and other licensed health care professionals is yoga. With a qualified instructor who can show you how to practice safely, yoga can be a wonderful choice because it addresses both mobility and strength, which are so important to remaining injury-free.
Another distinctive aspect of yoga that other forms of exercise don’t offer is an increase in blood flow and circulation throughout the body, which is crucial for healing to continue.
2. MASSAGE THERAPY. Another great adjunct to PT after-care is massage therapy.
Massage can address not only pain and tenderness in the soft tissue surrounding the
injured area, but also the scar tissue which may have formed as a result of the injury.
Scar tissue is the body’s rendition of a Band-Aid, and it forms anywhere there is an
injury, whether it is from a surgical incision, a tear in a muscle, tendon or ligament, or even on a bone after a fracture. Scar tissue, like a Band-Aid is not intended to be
The body lays down this emergency tissue quickly and randomly near the injury, so the healing process can begin immediately. However, if the tissue is not realigned soon after healing, that area tends to be vulnerable to re-injury, as well as loss of range of motion due to decreased flexibility and strength. Certain massage
techniques can specifically attend to injured tissue to help restore its original stability.
These are just a couple of ways to continue to heal the injured or impaired area so that healthy range of motion, along with strength and flexibility can be maintained. Be proactive and take the time to keep caring for your injury even after you leave your initial rehab. Just be sure to always consult your health care provider before starting any new wellness program.
If you’ve had an injury and are finished with physical therapy but are not healing as quickly as you’d hoped, call me today. I will assess your strength and flexibility, create a customized treatment plan AND teach you how to do specific techniques that you can do at home to speed our healing process.