Fractures take several weeks to several months to heal, depending on the extent of the injury. Pain usually stops long before the fracture is solid enough to handle the stresses of normal activity.
Following a fracture a person may be kept immobilized in a cast or splint for a few weeks to allow time for the bone to heal properly. During this time you will likely lose muscle strength in the injured area.
Physical therapy is important following immobilization in order to:
- Restore pain free range of movement
- Restore normal muscle strength
- Improve muscle length
- Enhance your ability to handle everyday activities
Physical Therapy for Fractures
Your physical therapist at Leader Therapy will initially assess the affected bones considering pain, swelling and bruising. Your physical therapist will then look at your range of movement and muscle strength. Therapy will help speed up your recovery by reducing pain and improving physical function.
Your treatment may include:
- Passive and active movement to restore muscle bulk, length and strength surrounding the fracture site. As the fracture heals your therapist will progress to movements with resistance and end-range stretching.
- Structured exercise program to restore muscle length and balance and enhance functional ability.
- Joint mobilization to improve and restore range of movement of the affected joints once the fracture has healed.
- Soft tissue massage to reduce pain, restore muscle length and release trigger points that occur within muscles following splinting or casting.
- Heat and electronic stimulation to relieve stiffness within soft tissues following prolonged immobilization.
- Functional education which may include gait re-education if your fracture requires the use of gait aids such as crutches to promote optimal healing and safety.
- Advice on the any other equipment or adaptations.
Physical therapy will enhance your recovery and ensure you continue to make significant improvement in range of movement, muscle strength and everyday activities. Your physical therapist will also ensure that you return back to your normal activities with confidence and success.