Muscle strains are a common occurrence in recreational and competitive sports, but should you start physiotherapy treatment right away after your injury, or rest first before you begin treatment?
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has helped us answer this question. Researchers recruited recreational athletes that had just had a strain to their thigh or calf muscle, then divided them into 2 groups. The first group started their physiotherapy 2 days after their injury, the second group rested for an extra week, and started their physiotherapy 9 days after their injury. Both groups received the same treatment from a physiotherapist – stretches and progressive strengthening exercises, helping them get ready to return to their sport. Researchers compared how quickly the athletes were able to return to their sport after injury, and there was a significant difference between the groups. The average time to return to sport was 21 days faster in the athletes that started their physiotherapy treatment 2 days after their injury!
What’s the take-home message? If you think you’ve injured yourself, seek out treatment today; don’t wait!
This study highlights how important it is to start loading a muscle immediately after an injury, and how loading will speed up your recovery. If you have strained a muscle, come in to Avenue Physiotherapy right away, and we can help you get back to your sport faster.