Pain can restrict end of range movements
Pain is a very complex thing. There are so many causes of pain, and so many different treatments that might work for some, but nor for others. When we have an acute injury and are in pain we are more likely to guard our movements. This will most likely cause us to avoid specific movements. Over time we become accustomed to these reduced movements and our full range of motion can be affected. This is because pain can restrict end of range movements.
What happens with an injury?
When we get injured we go through the early inflammatory stage of recovery. In this phase we need to protect the injured part and avoid aggravating factors. However, once this phase settles down within 3 days we need to start moving more and actively rehabbing the injured part. Some people spend too much time in movement avoidance and this causes our injured body part to stiffen up. Over time this reduction in range can become long term and we lose full range of our joints. This is why it’s important to keep moving when we are in pain.
How to avoid loss of range with pain
With any injury, unless otherwise told, we need to ensure regular movement of the injured joint. This regular movement will get our brain used to moving this body part again and the more we move it, the more our brain will relax the pain signals to the injured area. We follow the POLICE recipe when we have an injury. In the early stages the key is:
Protect the injured area – remove aggravating factors that can cause further injury
Optimally Load the affected area – whether thats with gentle active movement, or just gentle walking
Ice for pain relief – for 20 minutes every 2 hours
Compression – help blood flow to and from the area
Elevate – help the lymphatic system drain fluid from the area
If you’re having increased pain after an injury and are unsure about what to do then it’s wise to see a physio. If you’d like to book an appointment to see one of our physios call us on 3352 5116 or book online