Following a muscle injury, there are a few mistakes that people make. Unfortunately, these can make the injury worse and delay healing times. Below are some common mistakes we see.
1. Applying H.A.R.M.
After a muscle injury, Physiotherapists encourage the acronym P.O.L.I.C.E (protect, optimal loading, ice, compression and elevate). The acronym H.A.R.M is used to remember things you shouldn't do following an injury. H.A.R.M stands for applying heat, drinking alcohol, running or massage. These should be avoided as they may increase pain, swelling and damage in the first 48-72 hours post-injury.
Following a muscle tear, healing involves damaged muscle fibres reattaching to each other. During the early stages of healing, aggressive stretching may weaken the muscle or even lead to further tearing. It is important to check with your Physiotherapist that you are not stretching too aggressively and causing further damage.
3. Returning to sport too early
As muscles begin to heal, they often become less painful. This can be confusing because whilst the muscle is not painful anymore, often the tissues are still not completely healed. This can lead people to believe they are ready to return to sport too soon and unfortunately, they suffer another muscle tear. It is important to be guided by a Physiotherapist on what exercise is appropriate and safe for you. Under their guidance, you can build up to high-intensity activities.
4. Failure to consult a Physiotherapist
A Physiotherapist is essential to healing and return to previous functional level. Many conditions can seem like a muscle tear, it is important to see a Physiotherapist for a proper diagnosis. In addition, you may have suffered a muscle tear due to underlying pathology or weakness. Your Physiotherapist can identify factors that could lead to further injury and are able to assist you to help restore your muscle tissue to its previous level. Your Physiotherapist can also guide you with a full rehabilitation program to help restore your strength and assist you to be injury free for the future.
If you have an acute muscle injury or if you aren't sure if you can return to exercise after an older injury, our Physiotherapists can help. Call us on 97839990 or book online for an appointment.