Physiotherapy for Muscle Strains & Sprains

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Muscle strains and sprains are a surprisingly common injury that can happen to anyone, whether you’re a serious athlete or someone who doesn’t do strenuous exercise at all. When you experience muscle strains and sprains, it’s important that you receive proper treatment to avoid further injury, promote healing, and reduce the long-lasting impacts that your muscle strain or sprain has on your body. Let’s take a closer look at what causes muscle strains and sprains and how physiotherapy for muscle strains & sprains can help.

What Are Muscle Strains and Sprains?

First, it’s important to understand the definition of muscle strain and sprains. Although some people use the words interchangeably, they actually refer to two different types of injuries.

Muscle strains occur when a muscle or tendon is stretched or torn. Muscle sprains occur when the ligaments, which is tissue that connects bones, is stretched. 

Muscle strains can occur on any muscle located throughout your body but there are certain areas more prone to injury than others. Muscle strain is most common in the calf, groin, hamstring, rotator cuff, biceps and quadriceps. 

Physiotherapy for Muscle Strains & Sprains

Treatment for muscle strains and sprains will vary depending on the location of the injury and the severity. It is important to have your injury assessed so that a treatment team can help determine the best course of action to reduce further injury, promote healing and recovery and reduce further injury in the future. 

One of the most common types of treatments for muscle strains and sprains is physiotherapy. Physiotherapy for muscle strains & sprains will be completed after you have been properly evaluated to determine the extent and nature of your injury. Physiotherapy can be done during the acute stage of your injury as well as in the future during the rehabilitation process.

Types of Physiotherapy for Muscle Strains & Sprains

There are multiple methods for physiotherapy intended to treat muscle strains and sprains. Some of the most common are as follows:

  • Electrotherapeutic devices: these can include ultrasound devices, interferential current devices, and TENs devices. These are intended to promote the healing process and manage pain. 
  • Taping: Taping is designed to help promote the recovery process, increase support in injured muscles, as well as help the muscle relax during the healing process.
  • Heat and ice: Heat and ice therapy can increase blood flow, which increases recovery time; and ice is typically used to help manage pain. 
  • Stretching: Stretching can help improve mobility, which is a major concern with muscle strains and sprains, and increased tightness and reduced mobility are common after an injury. In regards to physiotherapy, stretching can include both assisted stretching with a physical therapist in addition to self-stretching exercises that can be conducted alone or even at home.

In most cases, your physical therapy for muscle strains or sprains will not be a singular treatment type but a combination of different treatments which will provide the most well-rounded healing and recovery period possible.

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