When recovering from a physical injury, it’s important to maintain some level of physical activity and exercise. While the early stages of recovery will mostly be focused on letting your body heal, working on improving your range of motion, and restoring mobility to the affected area, performing some form of therapeutic exercise is extremely important for the overall recovery process.
The Dangers of Stagnation
It is crucial to maintain your muscles’ strength and activity, even when exercising may be painful and stiff due to serious physical problems. Muscle atrophy can result from not using those muscles on a regular basis if you are unable or unable to do so. Muscle atrophy, often known as the wasting away or shriveling of inactive muscles, can be caused by a disease or condition like multiple sclerosis as well as by inactivity or injury. Although physical therapy and other therapies can partially cure muscle atrophy, allowing it to proceed can result in severe health hazards and loss of function.
What is therapeutic exercise?
therapeutic exercise is essential exercise prescribed by your physical therapist or chiropractor in order to restore your function to the greatest possible degree in the shortest possible time. These workouts are quite specialized and differ from patient to patient based on their particular condition and requirements. They all, in general, emphasize the growth, enhancement, and/or maintenance of one’s strength, stability, balance, flexibility, mobility, and cardio-respiratory or muscular endurance. The most comprehensive approach to recovery involves tackling each of these issues at once.
Muscle cells are one of the few cell types in the body that don’t spontaneously reproduce and duplicate when it comes to the growth and development of muscles. This contributes to the lengthy healing times associated with serious muscular tears and injuries, which is why physical therapy and rehabilitation are crucial. Scar tissue, not muscle tissue, is typically used to repair damaged muscle tissue, which explains the discomfort, stiffness, and lack of movement that ensue. Scar tissue won’t have the same range of motion or tensile strength as muscle tissue since it is less elastic. Scar tissue not only decreases the functionality of your muscles, but the lack of elasticity also increases the risk of re-injury if you overwork the affected area.
You might be asking how bodybuilders and athletes build such enormous muscles if the muscle doesn’t multiply. The contractile units that govern your muscular strength can be replicated even when the cells themselves cannot. Sarcomeres, or these contractile units, multiply and expand as part of the process of mending and repairing microtears. The bleeding and swelling connected with an injury set these micro tears apart from a tear that would be regarded as an injury. The sarcomeres can reproduce and develop muscle without producing scar tissue since the micro tears don’t result in the same bleeding as injuries do. One of the main objectives of therapeutic exercise, which aids in strengthening the muscle, is the development of these sarcomeres.
Immediately let your physical therapist know if you have any acute cramps or sharp pain while exercising so they can help. It is crucial to take action to lessen the damage if you are not in treatment when it occurs. The R.I.C.E. approach is the most effective way to accomplish this. Keep in mind that this is simply a temporary solution to lessen the discomfort of an injury and should only be used temporarily.
Rest: Stop doing whatever exercise you were doing right away, and attempt to give the affected muscle some rest. You want to reduce the swelling, therefore adding more pressure to it will only make it worse. Mild internal bleeding caused the swelling, which will trigger the body’s healing process and cause the formation of scar tissue.
Ice: Ice should be applied to the region as soon as possible. An ice block, commercial ice pack, or bag of frozen peas will work in a hurry, however a bag of crushed ice is preferable. If you don’t have access to ice, even soaking the joint in or running it under cold tap water is preferable to doing nothing. By reducing the amount of blood flowing to the affected location, this will aid in reducing swelling.
Compress: Compress the area that is afflicted to assist reduce swelling. Although a compression band is preferred, carefully wrapping the affected area with a bandage or towel will work just as well.
Elevate: Elevate the troublesome region over your heart. This will lessen swelling by slowing the blood flow to the injured area.
The R.I.C.E. approach should be replaced with A.R.I.T.A., or active recovery is the answer, after the first pain is reduced. Make contact with your therapist and inform them about the injury. They can modify your workout plan to account for the injury and provide workouts that will help you deal with the new injury.