As physical therapists we often hear patients ask questions such as, “why didn’t I come in before?” or “if I had come in right after this happened I’d have been better by now, right?” Most folks dealing with an injury have usually waited for several weeks employing the age old adage “I can work IT out” or my personal favorite “when I was younger these things would go away with rest.” Unfortunately this has led patients to possibly hurting themselves even further and making matters worse.
When we get injured, a physiological process occurs right away to protect us from further harm. As a part of this process, adaptation occurs and can create faulty movement patterns. Often times it was the faulty movement that set us up for the injury in the first place. When we ignore this we tell our body that it is okay to continue these poor mechanics and episodes can reoccur. If you’ve ever experienced multiple episodes of back pain or have sprained the same ankle over and over again, you are probably nodding your head yes to this explanation. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Current research in our field has shown that early intervention following episodes of injury tend to show favorable outcomes for patients, including quickly decreasing pain, improving movement, and helping people return to performing activities they enjoy with little to no limitations. There are other benefits as well including the cost-savings of dealing with your injury. Often, early intervention will require LESS treatment visits and can also decrease the likelihood of having to undergo expensive surgical procedures.
So to answer the question, you should seek treatment from us immediately following injury for every episode. Our fellowship trained and experienced manual physical therapists at Austin Manual Therapy Associates are here to help get you back to the things you love to do most. Contact us today or simply stop by any of our locations to speak directly to a physical therapist about your needs!
Tommie J Baugh, PT, FAAOMPT