Sometimes injuring yourself can result in a broken bone. Sometimes not. Despite both types of injury frequently resulting in similar symptoms post-healing, they require very different methods of treatment. This blog will explain both.
After suffering from a traumatic injury, more often than not, there is a degree of inflammation, bruising, or even both. In fact, the trauma can remain untreated in the body’s tissues for many years.
This makes the area sore, achy or quite simply painful. With time, the inflammation often resolves itself and the pain appears to substantially subside. However, muscle stiffness can remain. This is especially prevalent with joint injuries wherein the muscles in the surrounding area tense up in an attempt to protect the joint.
As a result, the area doesn’t function as well as it used to, which can heavily alter the way in which you move. This can put great strain on other areas of the body.
An experienced osteopath can help you to work you through this and take you that extra distance to fully recover from your initial injury. Sometimes the muscles just don’t seem to release with simple stretching exercises, and that’s where an osteopath can identify and work on those intransigent muscle tensions. Osteopathy can also help to reduce the ‘shock’ from your tissues; therefore improving function and restoring symmetry to get you back to how you used to move and preventing further problems down the line.
Fractures, however, require a different course of action.
What do you do if you are left in pain after a fracture has healed itself?
Naturally, this question pops up frequently for us, as NHS treatment is very limited when it comes to post-fracture aid. Now, this is not because treatment is not required, really it is because they don’t have the adequate funding to follow through with it. Instead, it is expected that you fully recover with an A4 sheet of set exercises to take home.
With that out of the way, let’s explain how osteopathy can really benefit you after suffering from such a traumatic injury.
Huge forces go into the body to break a bone, and naturally the effects will travel further than just the area of the initial break. Osteopaths are experts in assessing the range, quality and symmetry of the movements of the human body, and using our hands, can gently free tensions and make things more comfortable after the accident and whilst wearing a plaster.
Unfortunately, wearing a plaster for 6-10 weeks will lead to a number of changes to the area underneath. Muscle wasting is common and requires careful exercises to restore proper mobility. More importantly, shortening of ligaments and tendons from immobilisation in the plaster, and scarring around the fracture site, can limit the limb’s range of motion. Moreover, if you have to wear a sling, this can result in secondary neck problems.
After fractures, we need to make sure that full ranges of motion are restored to the affected areas. These must be guided however, as some people can be over zealous and cause tendinitis (the swelling of the tendons)! Your osteopath can test for any residual restrictions and adaptations of the body, and subsequently offer treatment and give exercises to ensure maximum function is restored.
This is especially important in growing children following a fracture.
Growing so fast, any factors that can influence the symmetry and balance of a child may quickly start to impact on the overall shape of the developing body. The sooner normal movement and use of the fractured limb is restored, the better!
Broken wrists are common in active children, soit is really worth checking they have recovered full rotational movement of the forearm after a plaster has been removed. Children should be monitored to make sure their muscle strength is even post-injury, as well as their balance and walking ability which a trained eye will be able to pick up.
So if you fracture your ankle at the local Christmas ice rink this year, osteopathy is the perfect choice for your rehabilitation! Give us a call on 01722 512043 and we'll get you booked in at a time that suits you !