The First Phase of Healing
Injuries typically pass through three distinct phases on their path to recovery. First is the acute phase, where pain and inflammation generally are at their worst – usually 24 to 72 hours after an injury. Most often, the R.I.C.E. principle can provide relief.
The goal of treatment at this point is to ease discomfort and avoid making the injury worse. At this time, your physical therapist may focus on reducing pain with T.E.N.s, ultrasound, acupuncture or manual therapy. They may also prescribe gentle exercises to maintain mobility and joint range of movement.
The Second Phase of Healing
Once the symptoms of pain and inflammation begin to lessen, the injury tends to be in the subacute stage. This period may last up to six weeks as your body focuses on repairing damaged tissues. Here, the goal of physiotherapy is to encourage the healing process; your treatments may still include the R.I.C.E principle as before and other techniques such as taping, bracing, or joint mobilization. Your physio sessions may focus more on exercise and correcting faulty movement patterns to restore you to full function.