Physical therapists are trained to medically treat and rehabilitate mild and serious injuries and chronic conditions from disease or other maladies that occur to the skeletomuscular system. They utilize different therapies to get the job done and focus on healing and improving strength and range of motion in the injured areas.
When a patient has sustained an injury to muscles, tendons, joints or some other part of the skeletomuscular system is injured and needs to see a doctor about that injury physiotherapists recommend caution. In many cases it is difficult to tell the severity of an injury and sometimes even which body part is injured. For this reason a physiotherapist will recommend the following if it appears someone has sustained serious muscle injury.
The Person Should Immediately Stop the Activity that Caused the Injury
Whatever has caused the injury to the person should be stopped immediately. If the person is at work, operating machinery, on a sports team, or doing some other activity, discontinuing the activity will go a long way toward ensuring that the person does not get injured further. The person might feel able to continue doing so in an injured state actually makes the person more prone to the same injury and injuries in other areas.
Have the Muscle Evaluated as Immediately as Possible
The injured person should have the muscle injury evaluated as soon as possible by a medical professional. A professional can do certain tests to help determine the seriousness of the injury. Sometimes muscle injuries appear worse than they are or the reverse is true. Having a professional evaluate the injury is the only way to tell its seriousness. There will be a series of tests performed including to see if the person can mimic normal behavior for the muscle. If not there is a real chance that the injury is serious. In this instance the medical professional will perform a predetermined series of actions.
Instituting the PRICE Regime
If it is determined that the muscle injury is serious, the medical will utilize a specific approach to treating the injury immediately. The acronym for this approach is PRICE representing the following:
P – Protect the injured area – This will include immobilizing, supporting, or strapping on something that will assist movement and reduce any strain on the injured muscle
R – Rest the injured area – Any activities that might injure the muscle further must be ceased for ten days or more depending upon the assessment of the injury. This does not mean a complete shutdown of all activities because movement will increase blood flow to the area which assists in healing.
I – Ice the affected area for 4 days following the injury, the injured area should be iced for about fifteen minutes every two hours. This will reduce and prevent swelling.
C – Compress the area. Applying compression to the area with the use of bandages limit excessive swelling of the injured muscle and also add support.
E – Elevate the injured area to horizontal level. The elevated position should ideally be above the heart. To limit swelling.
Contact a Physiotherapist
A physio will be able to assist with the assessment of the injury and the specific therapy regimen needed to get the person back to good health. You should contact one when a person has a muscle injury or immediately after PRICE has been instituted.