Tag Archives: Physical Therapy

Physiotherapy after a Fracture

By Courtney Lacey, PT

fractureIf you have recently broken a bone, you may be wondering when you will be able to return to all of your normal activities. While it typically takes 4-8 weeks for a bone to heal, you will likely require physiotherapy to help get you back to full function.

How do fractures happen?

A broken bone, also known as a fracture, can occur in many ways. Most often, broken bones are the result of a traumatic mechanism of injury such as a fall, motor vehicle accident or contact during a sporting event. Fractures can also occur from repetitive motions which place stress on the muscles and bones. A common example of this is stress fractures in the legs from running. Finally, fractures can more easily occur in people with osteoporosis – a disease which weakens bones and makes them more likely to break.

How do you know if you have a fracture?

These are some signs and symptoms which may indicate that you have a fracture:

  • Immediate and severe pain following a fall or accident
  • A “pop” or “click” heard or felt during the incident
  • Swelling in the area
  • A bump or deformity
  • Unable to weight-bear through the injured limb

If you suspect you have a fracture, you will need to see a doctor who will order an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis. Often, those who experience an injury causing a fracture will go to the hospital to be evaluated.

Does a fracture heal?

While bone healing takes approximately 4-8 weeks, the timeline depends on both the person and the type of fracture.  In order for a bone to heal properly, it has to first be set in the proper position, which is called reduction. The doctor may be able to reposition the bones without surgery, which is called a closed reduction. Sometimes, surgery may be required to bring the ends of the bone close together, which is called an open reduction. Pins, plates or screws may also be used to keep the bones in place. If the fracture did not cause any part of the bone to shift out of place, no reduction is needed. Once the doctor has determined the bones are in a good position to allow for healing, the area will be immobilized in a cast or a splint.

When can the cast come off?

To determine if you are ready to have the cast removed, you will have an X-ray done with the cast or splint in place. The doctor will look for the formation of a callus, which demonstrates that healing has taken place. The doctor will then remove the cast and may recommend that you have physiotherapy. Physiotherapists play a key role in returning you to your full function as quickly as possible after a fracture.

Why do I need physiotherapy?

There are several reasons why physiotherapy is needed after fracture. Depending on the amount of healing that has occurred, your doctor may have special instructions (how much weight to put through the limb, certain activities to avoid, etc.) that your physiotherapist can help you understand. Once the cast is removed, you may still have some swelling and pain around the fracture site. Physiotherapists may use modalities (such as ultrasound or TENS) to help decrease pain and swelling and improve your mobility and tolerance for using the injured limb in daily activities. If you had surgery, you may also have a scar which creates scar tissue and can disrupt movement. At BodyTech Physiotherapy your therapist will use manual therapy techniques to help mobilize the scar tissue and the areas around the injury as needed to  restore normal movement around the surgical site.

Physiotherapy is crucial to improve your functional mobility that you may have lost during your time in the splint or cast. Immobilization over 6-8 weeks will cause loss of range of motion and strength, which will make daily tasks difficult to do. Your physiotherapist will help restore your proper range of motion using manual therapy techniques. While the fracture site will be stiff and sore, you may also lose range of motion at surrounding joints that were moving differently during the healing process. For example, if you have broken your elbow, it is also necessary to  assess your shoulder, wrist and hand to ensure that these joints are moving properly. Not correcting the mobility around the fracture site can prolong your healing process and lead to future injuries as well.

Once your range of motion has been restored, you will need to regain strength in order to return to your pre-injury activities. Your physiotherapist will work with you to create a proper strengthening program to re-introduce your bones to loads and stresses that you encounter in your daily activities. Lack of strength or going back to activity too soon puts you at risk of re-injury or prolonging the healing process. Physiotherapy will help you understand the correct exercises to do and will tailor your program to the activities you plan to return to, whether it be high level sport or recreational activity.

How long until I am back to my regular activities?

Your rehab program will vary in length depending on the type of fracture, if there was surgical intervention, and the type of activity you plan to return to. Depending on the nature of the injury, physiotherapy can take anywhere from 8 weeks to one year for more complex fractures. Your physiotherapist will guide you through your rehab program, ensuring you are progressing at an appropriate rate and prevent complications or future injury.

BodyTech Physiotherapy

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Physiotherapy really does work!

BodyTech Physiotherapy

How many times have you heard friends or family say they had physiotherapy and it did not work for them? Or that they went to physiotherapy and all they got was a hot pack and a machine?

All physiotherapists and physiotherapy clinics are different. Just because you or someone you know had a bad experience at one clinic, does not mean you should not try another clinic. Why not check out BodyTech Physiotherapy? It was created out of a desire to  improve the quality of physiotherapy care in the city of Kitchener.

BodyTech Physiotherapy is an orthopaedic manual therapy and sports injury clinic. The clinic is owned and operated by highly qualified physiotherapists. We offer expert, hands-on care and individualized treatment for all conditions that cause pain or dysfunction.

What is orthopaedic physiotherapy/manual therapy?

Orthopaedic physiotherapy or manual therapy is physiotherapy that uses specific skilled, hands-on techniques administered by a physiotherapist to diagnose and treat soft tissue and joints. The physiotherapist uses their hands to mobilize (specific technique to improve movement) the joints to reduce stiffness, relieve pain, increase movement, improve muscle length and strength, and restore function. It combines an individualized exercise program with hands-on manual therapy to achieve pain-free function. Our physiotherapists at BodyTech Physiotherapy have undergone extensive, advanced-level post-graduate training to enhance their physiotherapy education, assessment and treatment skills. They have received their Advanced Diploma in Manual and Manipulative Therapy and have a combined 15 years of experience in a private practice clinical setting. Our assessments focus on identifying the underlying causes and contributing factors of your injury or condition. This comprehensive approach enables us to treat your condition or injury in the most effective way with an evidence based approach. A combination of exercise, manual therapy and education will improve your course of recovery and assist with further injury prevention.

Our approach to physiotherapy is individualized to focus on you – Physiotherapy really does work at BodyTech Physiotherapy!BodyTech Physiotherapy

Comprehensive and Evidence-Based Approaches to Pain/Injury Treatment & Prevention

BodyTech Physiotherapy
Registered physiotherapists and clinic owners Cheryl Reid Ralph and Vanessa Rampersad have successfully realized a vision when they launched BodyTech Physiotherapy this past September in Kitchener: to offer first-rate orthopaedic manual therapy and sports-injury rehabilitation. With their post-graduate training, continuing advanced education and combined 15 years’ experience, they also provide expert hands-on manual therapy for any musculoskeletal and orthopaedic injuries from head to toe and for all ages, including infants and young children. “We don’t just look at localized pain, but the whole picture of what’s happening to the client,” Vanessa says. They are excited to announce that they will be adding a registered massage therapist to their team in the new year.

When you first arrive at the clinic, expect to be given a generous one-hour assessment. “Our approach is completely individualized, comprehensive and evidence-based,” Cheryl says. “We focus on identifying the cause and contributing factors that led the client to seek us out for help.” Cheryl and Vanessa take a full, subjective history from the patient and, then, provide thorough analyses on movement and strength, ligaments and joints, including a walking gait analysis. If more in-depth diagnostic testing is required, they follow up with your family physician.

Once the testing and results are established, your physiotherapist provides advanced treatment techniques that will include a blend of exercise and manual therapy, and may include pain-relieving modalities, such as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), ultrasound, heat/cold packs, acupuncture, and postural or corrective taping to help you recover from and prevent re-injury. The 30-minute treatment sessions may also incorporate western medical acupuncture based on Chinese acupuncture if needed at no extra cost. Acupuncture is applied to treat musculoskeletal pain, post-operative pain, myofascial trigger-point pain, nerve pain, and swelling. “Acupuncture stimulates the natural release of the body’s pain killers and anti-inflammatories to promote natural healing,” the duo explains.

Do you have a work- or accident-related injury? Come and see what BodyTech Physiotherapy can recommend for you. Know also that whether you suffer from chronic or acute injuries or pain, the team provides a complete evaluation and customized course of rehabilitation for osteoarthritis, post-operative and post-fracture, concussions, TMJ, and more.

Vanessa and Cheryl believe strongly in educating their patients. “We explain the issues and the individualized treatment plan clearly,” the twosome concurs. “We welcome questions at any time during the process. Clients can also call the clinic if they have concerns. The more a client understands how their body works, the better they, too, can aid in a speedier recovery and participate fully in their exercise program.”

    Sports physiotherapy for athletes and beginners alike at any age is a vibrant clinical strength. You will be given a targeted treatment and prevention program to optimize your recovery and safe return to your activity. “Our primary acute-care focus is pain relief, but getting rid of pain doesn’t necessarily indicate complete recovery,” Cheryl notes. “Our complete approach includes flexibility and strength to maximize that gradual and safe return to one’s physical activity,” Vanessa adds.

CANINE Rehabilitation

    One unique service that BodyTech Physiotherapy will be offering in the near future is Canine Rehabilitation.  The hope is to offer this service as home visits or at a local veterinary or animal hospital location.  “A canine that suffers from mobility issues can greatly enhance their quality of life and prolong their fitness level, especially in the case of working, sports or post-surgical dogs.”

Cheryl and Vanessa have undergone extensive, advanced level post-graduate training to enhance their physiotherapy education, assessment and treatment skills. Each has received their Advanced Diploma in Manual and Manipulative Therapy. They are Fellows of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy (CAMPT), an organization of the International Federation of Manipulative Physical Therapists that is committed to providing the highest level of care.

    BodyTech Physiotherapy is located at Chicopee Park Centre, 1601 River Rd. E, Unit 30A, Kitchener. To make an appointment, call 519-954-6000, or email info@BodyTechPhysio.ca. For more information, view http://www.bodytechphysio.ca.

BodyTech Physiotherapy