Alternative Therapies and Supplements
Australia’s complementary medicines industry is worth a staggering $4.9 billion. Vitamin and dietary supplements worth $2.77 billion and sports nutrition valued at $1 billion. The vitamin and dietary supplement category alone has doubled over the last decade.
Sixty-seven percent of complementary medicines are sold through pharmacies and supermarkets.
It is no wonder that with the sheer volume of these supplements, clients will turn to alternative medicine when faced with an injury.
Why Alternative Treatments Do Not Work For Injuries
Alternative medicine can play a part in general health and well being. It should however not be the first option to try when recovering from injury. Whether they are sustained through sport, exercise, workplace, school or at home.
There are two parts to the recovery process after injury. The first is the phase immediately after the injury, called the acute phase. This is where the injury diagnosis is made by a doctor.
The second is the chronic phase. The physiotherapist’s role comes in to help the client to regain full strength, mobility and function. It is important to note that the chronic phase is a long-term process.
Many people will visit their physiotherapist in the hope that one massage or a recommendation for a cream will be the answer to alleviating their pain.
Unfortunately, they don’t understand that passive treatment, especially as a one-off, will not work.
The only way to recover from injury is to follow a program of modified activity personally developed by a physiotherapist.
The Process of Recovery from Injury
The first thing a physiotherapist will do is to work to protect the injured area to limit any further damage. This usually takes the form of compression to the area such as taping or applying a splint or brace.
Once the injured area is healed enough, the physiotherapist will encourage the client to slowly add weight or load to the area. This will lead to getting the area back to its previous strength and flexibility.
The physiotherapist will also recommend exercises and activities to prevent the recurrence of the injury.
Recovery from Injury is Faster When Working with a Physiotherapist.
Despite the potential for the road to recovery from injury to be a long one. In most cases it ends up being shorter than if someone waits after seeking an alternative treatment first.
A physiotherapist has the skills and knowledge to create a treatment plan that is specifically tailored to an individual’s circumstances.
How to Minimise the Risk of Further or Repeat Injury
Once someone has recovered from injury and are back to their lifestyle, they need to make sure they don’t injure themselves again. Any strain may cause the original injury to flare up.
Physiotherapists recommend always warming up and stretching both before and after any exercise. A warm-up will slowly increase the heart rate, blood flow to muscles and breathing rate. Both a warm up and cool down is beneficial to increase flexibility in muscles, tendons and joints. In turn it will help to reduce the risk of injury.