September, 2012 Archive

Beware of Temporary Feel Goods!

Remember that we usually have pain because of an injury of some kind; i.e. tissue damage. In order for the injury to heal, our tissue needs to repair itself. We can influence the repair process in many ways such as: ice in the early stages (day 1-5 post injury) to reduce swelling, movement/stretching (to “organize the scar tissue”), avoidance of further strain, and finally strengthening to protect the area from future episodes. We could take pills and that would take the pain away but would that actually affect the tissue repair? No. How would taking a pill restore movement or strength? We can agree that pills alone would not be sufficient to actually rehabilitate an injury. Literature supports what we at Bonavista Physical Therapy already know: ACTIVE therapy is much more effective than PASSIVE therapy. Passive treatments (kind of like pills or band aids) are things that are done TO you with no effort on your part. Passive treatment may ease the pain temporarily, but this type of treatment does not FIX the problem nor prevent future episodes. The single most important thing affecting your healing is WHAT YOU DO, not what someone does TO YOU! It doesn’t matter if you’re suffering from headaches, sciatica, tennis elbow, tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, a sprained ankle, rotator cuff tear, whiplash, or a ligament injury, you should be getting homework (ie exercises) from your therapist. Physical therapy should be physical! Therapeutic exercise should be the foundation of ANY rehabilitation program as it is the MOST EFFECTIVE way to influence tissue healing.

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