Articles in Category: Sporting Injuries

How Long will it take to Get Better?

Written by Don Williams BSc, MChiro, ICSSD. on Wednesday, 23 September 2015. Posted in Massage, General Health, Sporting Injuries, Acupuncture, Training and Performance, Chiropractic

How Long will it take to Get Better?

By Don Williams

B.Sc., M.Chiro., ICSSD., PG Dip. NMS Rehabilitation Cert DNS. Memb: FICS, CEA

 

One of the most common questions that we get asked every day in practice is, “How long will it take to get better?” Unfortunately there is no short answer to this question, however, in this article I will try to outline some of the contributing factors and delineate some guidelines and ideas which may help answer this question for you.

 

Everyone is an individual, and in that sense, how different people respond and heal from different injuries does vary somewhat, some injuries are particularly unpredictable, shoulders are particularly problematic in identifying how well or how quickly they will respond to treatment. However with most injuries, there are general time frames in which most healing will occur.

 

Most people who have ever had an injury and minor procedure which required stitches will remember that the stitches generally come out in around 7 days and this time frame is a good indication of how long a cut or trauma takes to “bond” back together, however, the general healing process generally takes around 21 days. This is the timeframe for the body to lay down a “callus” or matrix of fibres around the injury and develop new connections and bridges to stabilise the injury and repair. But this timeframe is dependent on good blood flow and environment for repair, additionally, just because the injury is stabilised, does not mean that it is fully healed and fully function. This healing process and time frame is specifically relevant for muscle and skin.

 

Areas of the body that receive poorer blood supply take longer to recover. Tendons and particularly joint cartilage and ligaments receive a lower direct blood supply and take longer to heal. We normally expect that tendon and ligament injuries will take 6 weeks to start to repair well and 3 months to be stable.

 

Bones fractures also take longer to heal. Interestingly, the ratio of cortical bone (the dense outer “shell”) to cancellous bone (the “spongey” inner core) also affects the healing rate. So when we look at bones like the tibia (the larger of the two lower leg bones) they take a particularly long time to heal (up to 4 months).

 

The other interesting thing to note is that an injury is not always something that is readily assessable via an x-ray or scan and often, the severity of the pathology on the scan can be very unrelated to the amount of pain. For example, someone with severe degenerative changes noted on an x-ray may not have any pain, and in contrast, someone with very severe pain may have really good looking x-rays.

 

It is also important to note that many people use pain as a guide to where they have a problem or not. This is a situation which has been reinforced with dodgy advertising commercials by big pharmaceutical companies suggesting that all of our aches and pains can be targeted and resolved with a little tablet.  At times pain killers can be helpful, but it is important to realise that, contrary to the advertising campaigns, and the statements of the celebrities fronting these commercials, these drugs do not “target” the source of pain. They work globally in the system to mask the pain. In fact anti-inflammatories drugs can actually slow the healing process and all of these drugs have potential for complications and side effects, some of these can be severe.

 

But pain is only the tip of the iceberg. Pain exists as an indicator that something is going wrong in our system. We have an area that is under duress or load which is unhappy or injured. Sometimes there are weaknesses or imbalances or inappropriate actions which have caused this problem to develop. Getting rid of the pain is a good start, but addressing the underlying dysfunction or causative factors is also important to reach a good long term outcome.

 

Part of our goal in assessment at Institute of Sports and Spines is to try to assess the contributing factors which caused your problem to develop in the first place and help you to eliminate or address these issues.

 

Another complicating factor as eluded to, early in the article is the individual nature of response.

Sometimes we will see muscle spasm problems which are very severe and painful, which is not related to severe pathology. At times these issues will respond very quickly to treatment and at other times they will be a little stubborn and take a little longer. Generally, the response to treatment gives a more accurate prediction of how quickly the issue will settle. Further to this, if you have had previous episodes of the same problem, the previous response rate is generally a reasonable indicator of the response rate for future episodes.

 

So as a general time line for healing rates:

  • Early tissue healing occurs in around 7 days

  • The majority of soft tissue healing takes around 21 days.

  • Early bone healing takes 6 weeks (up to 4 months so large, long bones)

  • Cartilage and Ligament issues take around 6 weeks to 3 months

  • Re-education and retraining takes a minimum of 3 months

  • Remodelling can take up to 1 year.

 

In a perfect world things can progress more quickly. The addition of complicating factors can drag these times frames out.  The better that problems are managed and treated increases the probability of a good resolution and good long term outcome.

 

Later in this newsletter and over the next few additions we will outline more specifically injuries of the neck, back, knee, hip, shoulder and tendonopathies.

 

If you have any further questions then talk to the team and we will help you out with more specific advice.

 

Fracture Healing -

 

Fracture Healing

 


Wound Healing -

 

Wound Healing

 

 

 

 

 

Myth Busters: It's Important to Stretch before Exercise

on Thursday, 14 February 2019. Posted in Newsletters, General Health, Sporting Injuries, Ergonomics, Training and Performance

Myth Busters: It's Important to Stretch before Exercise

For many years it was believed that performing static stretches before exercising reduced your risk of injury. However research has shown that this is not the case.

 

Static stretching is a method of stretching where you gradually lengthen your muscles and tendons by holding your body in a certain position for approximately 30 seconds. An example of this might be a hamstring stretch (see below). This type of stretching is useful in improving flexibility and muscle function.

 

Stretch 1 

A study completed in Norway that had over 1000 participants found that there was little to no reduction in injury risk when stretching was performed before exercise. Research has shown that performing a warm up made up of dynamic stretches can increase body awareness, strength and neuromuscular control which reduces the risk of injury.

Stretch 2  Stretch 3

Dynamic stretching is a type of stretching where you gradually lengthen muscles and tendons and also warm them up by moving your joint through a range of motion similar to the activity you are about to perform. For example if you are about to go for a walk/run/cycle performing leg swings can be beneficial (see below).

 

Static stretching is still important to perform after you exercise. This can help in easing muscle soreness caused by Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (DOMS) which can occur 24-48 hours after an exercise session. It is a good idea to perform these stretches in your cool down, focusing on the areas of your body that you worked most.

 

So if you’ve been doing static stretches as part of your warm up at the gym or on the field maybe swap it for some dynamic stretches and save the static stretches for your cool down.

 

If you would like to learn or know more about what stretches are most beneficial for you as an individual get in contact with Emily our Exercise Physiologist here at Institute of Sports and Spines!

 

 

Written by Emily Holzberger

Qualifications: B. ExSS Majoring in Clinical ExPhys.   

 

Resource: ABC Health and Wellbeing, 2014

 

Popliteus Injury

on Wednesday, 05 September 2018. Posted in Massage, General Health, Sporting Injuries, Chiropractic

Popliteus Injury

By Luke Attkins

Diploma of Remedial Massage, Certificate IV of Massage Therapy

Member: AAMT, SCA, CAA, CA.

 

Have you ever tried to go for a run or walk and had the feeling that your knee was going to ‘lock up’ or ‘give out’ on you? This is a common cause of popliteus muscle injuries. The popliteus muscles is a small but strong muscle, that’s main action is to internally rotate the tibia (shin bone). Another action this muscle is involved with is the unlocking of the knee joint whilst bending the leg from a fully straightened position.

 

Common injury symptoms associated with this muscle can be back and outside knee pain, and the feeling of being unstable upon loading the joint. With the areas of pain that are associated, doctors frequently view the area as having a ligament tear of either the lateral collateral, anterior cruciate or posterior cruciate ligaments; however MRI or X-Ray scans will show up clear, therefore leaving the patient in pain and discomfort with no answers.

 

This posterior-lateral knee pain is commonly caused by the under activation of the hamstrings whilst walking or running, therefore making the popliteus muscle over exert itself and be strained under the pressure.

 

Treatment that is very effective in decreasing the pain and helping to relieve the unsteadiness that is felt within the knee joint is remedial massage. Remedial Massage treatment helps by identifying the problem and using different massage styles to release and take the strain off the popliteus.

 

If you think this sounds like something that may be affecting you, call (07) 3398 7022 to book in for an appointment to see one of our accredited remedial massage therapists.