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Got an achy breaky bone fracture? Physiotherapy can help you heal

Could there be a more ghastly sound than the snap or crackling sound of a bone breaking? Perhaps only the horror of seeing bone poking through skin. Whether you’ve stubbed your toe on the coffee table or taken a fall, fractures can be painful and can even put you out of action for some time.

But there is an effective way to speed up your recovery, reduce your pain and get you back to full function: physiotherapy.

Displaced or non-displaced: what is the difference?

Fractures can be classified in one of two ways: a non-displaced fracture results in the bone breaking but remaining in alignment; and displaced is when the bone separates into two or more pieces and shifts out of alignment.

Determining what type of fracture you have will guide the sort of treatment required – which can range from pain relief, splints, and casts for simple fractures or surgery for more complicated fractures.

The type of fracture also impacts the healing time. The greater displaced a bone is, the greater the healing time.

Rest is just one tool in your recovery

Rest is the not so secret ingredient our bodies need to bounce back from an injury and our bones are no different. They too need rest to heal. One of the best ways to achieve ‘time out’ is to use casts and splints to immobilise the joints and support the healing process.

Fiberglass casting is one of the most popular cast types because of its light weight, longer lasting and breathable qualities. Also in its favour is the fact that fibreglass is waterproof so you can shower and even swim while wearing a cast. These casts are commonly used to treat upper and lower limb fractures such as greenstick fractures of the wrist (when the bone bends and breaks), and hand, elbow and ankle/foot fractures.

For lower limb fractures, the CAM (or Controlled Ankle Motion) boot is designed for support. It keeps the foot and ankle in place while also removing some of the weight so you can still walk, despite the injury.

Accelerate the healing process with physiotherapy

You know the saying ‘timing is everything’? Well timing really is important when it comes to treating fractures. A cast or splint can restrict your movement and cause joint stiffness and loss of muscle strength. The sooner you can start physiotherapy treatment the sooner you can benefit from reduced pain and improve your range of motion, mobility, and muscle and tissue strength.

Some research has shown that starting physiotherapy early can, in some specific fractures, help prevent some of the stiffness that may develop during the fracture healing process.

Physiotherapy treatment can vary from person to person and also depends on the type of fracture but typically involves prescribed exercises to regain full range of movement in joints, manual therapy to manage swelling and balance work to prevent future fractures.

How to choose the right physiotherapist

You want a physiotherapist you can work well with, someone who is experienced in treating fractures and who you feel confident will help you recover.

New Age Physiotherapy’s fracture clinic offers an effective end to end solution that starts with an immediate assessment by our onsite GP and a referral for x-rays. We can then determine the most effective treatment plan that will get you back to normal function fast. If you require a cast, our team is trained to apply waterproof fibreglass casts and we also supply and fit CAM boots.

Ask us how physiotherapy can aid your road to recovery post fracture.


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