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Is Resting Post an Injury a Good Idea?

When someone gets injured, you often hear people around them say things like – “If it’s something that happened on its own, it will also go away on its own” or “stretching is the best thing to do” or even something like “rest is the best cure”. But let’s stop for a moment and think about this. If your vehicle breaks down and you simply park it in your garage for weeks on end and then expect it to start up and run perfectly after that, do you think that will happen?

It’s very doubtful; while the human body isn’t a machine and isn’t made of hardware when it does get injured, you can’t just expect rest to fix the problem. Here, we aren’t referring to injuries that arise from a fall or when someone runs into you; we are talking about injuries that occur from conditions that have been lingering for a very long time in your body and finally reach the breakpoint, so to speak!

If you have injured yourself you need to consult a good physiotherapist; they will advise you on whether a particular injury requires total rest. In most cases, injuries that do need total rest are those that can become aggravated and cause further injury when you indulge in some activity. If there is a significant amount of bruising, swelling and pain, your physiotherapist is most likely to advise you to rest completely. Read on whether resting post an injury is a good idea.

The hypersensitivity aspect

Aside from these types of injuries, many injuries become chronic if you avoid movement. For instance, if you have banged your knee into something and it’s sore, you may be inclined to avoid bending it. While that may be the right thing to do till the pathology of your knee is cleared up if you continue keeping it still “just in case” even after all the swelling and most of the pain has receded, you will find that the soreness persists.

This is because your brain has developed hypersensitivity to the area and is extremely aware of it; the manner in which you move & operate will automatically avoid bending the knee. It’s important to keep in view that this is very generic advice and since every situation and injury is different, the affected part would first have to be examined by an expert, qualified orthopaedic surgeon, sports therapist or skilled physiotherapist before you follow any treatment plan.

Some more general advice…

If you have injured yourself:

  1. Attempt to move that area as soon as you can; keep in mind that this doesn’t refer to a broken bone situation, but definitely applies to something like a pulled hamstring.
  2. If you find weight-bearing to be very painful, it still necessary for you to maintain some range of movement at that particular joint as well as the joints that are just below and above the injured area.
  3. Make sure you ice the area.
  4. If you are able to walk, try to do so without delay.
  5. Grade the pain; if you feel that it’s a “4” on a scale of 10, it indicates what you are doing is alright. The idea is to use that sore area without aggravating the injury in any way.
  6. In the case there is swelling at the affected point, compression helps.
  7. Start on stabilising exercise routines as soon as you can.
  8. Be positive and stay away from people that have negative things to say.
  9. When you are injured and have to reduce your activity levels, make it a point to stay away from heavy foods, alcohol, and chocolate etc. Additional body-weight will only affect your return to your previous activity levels.

It’s important that your rehabilitation plan is designed by a qualified and certified physiotherapist. We at Insync Physiotherapy have skilled and experienced physiotherapists on board and can provide excellent treatments and care. For any more information on the different types of services we provide, feel free to contact us on (02) 7226 3432. You can also send us your queries via this online form.

Thanks for reading,
Insync Physiotherapy Team
(02) 7226 3432