lab lounge blog

When should I seek treatment?

Updated: Sep 22, 2018


Physio + Massage + Kinesiology in Victoria, BC


How soon after an injury, event, or accident should I see a Physiotherapist? A lot of people are hesitant to access Physiotherapy, Massage Therapy, Kinesiology/Active Rehabilitation or other sources of treatment following an accident or injury. Some of this hesitation could be due to

  • fear of seeking treatment before consulting a Doctor

  • not knowing who to go to first, Physio, Massage or Chiropractor

  • a lack of clarity around the costs and how the funding works

  • fear of further injury by accessing treatment too soon

Physiotherapists are highly trained Primary care clinicians capable of assessing and diagnosing musculoskeletal conditions. They can also rule in or out any red flag concerns such as fractures, dislocations, tears etc. Physiotherapists are great at triaging your care and suggesting the right order of treatment. A general rule for rehab professionals:

  1. Physiotherapist – day 0 to injury resolution; for assessment diagnosis and treatment of all aspects of the injury

  2. Massage Therapy – day 10-14 after injury to resolution of soft tissue tension, stress and inflammation management if needed

  3. Kinesiology – day 14-21 and beyond; to strengthen and return functional movement

Often, hesitation in accessing treatment results in people waiting weeks or even months to seek treatment. That time often causes people to experience issues like kinesiophobia (the fear of movement), to develop compensation movement patterns (such as a limp), or to lose their strength and fitness out of fear that activity will cause further injury. Worst of all, people may avoid activity because they have been advised to, as it might impact their future insurance compensation. If you feel able to be active in any capacity then stay as active as possible!


EARLY MOBILITY is the new rest + ice!


What about the risk of making it worse? As rehabilitation therapists, our primary goal is to first ensure that we are not going to cause any additional harm. If there are any red flags or risk factors that increase your risk of an adverse event, delaying treatment or referral to your doctor might be recommended. It is part of our job to communicate this to you as well as have open dialogue with your primary care physician so that your whole healthcare team is on the same page.

But I can barely move, how can I exercise? One of the common misconceptions about Active Rehabilitation/ Kinesiology is the idea that it starts with hard exercises in a gym setting, like, squats, heavy weights and running. Instead, your treatment will be tailored to you achieving your movement goals. Every treatment plan is personalized to the individuals’ needs and abilities and progresses at a pace the client can manage – no faster. When progressing through the stages of healing, most treatment plans start light with hands on treatment, education, movement pattern retraining and subtle postural strengthening.

So how long should I wait to see my Physiotherapist for an initial assessment once I’ve been injured? Physiotherapy does not require a doctor's referral so you can visit your Physio as soon as you can book an appointment. A Physio will be able to help you avoid some of the previously mentioned side effects that happen when you wait to seek treatment. The sooner you see your Physiotherapist, the sooner you will start to see improvements!

If you would like to learn more, below you will find links to peer-reviewed research abstracts supporting early intervention following a variety of injuries. If you would like to see more research, or get access to a full study, please contact socialmedia@labhealth.ca and we will be happy to supply you with copies of any you would like to read.

References


Visit labhealth.ca or call 250-386-7254 to book an assessment today!


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Victoria | BC | V8V 1S5 

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