It is important to know when the “wait and see” approach is appropriate for your injury as opposed to when early intervention is advised.

Some injuries do not heal on their own. Early intervention can improve recovery times, reduce the risk of an injury becoming chronic (long standing), reduce the risk of you developing other compensator pains or imbalances, and reduce the risk of injury recurrence.

We commonly hear from patients that have waited weeks, sometimes months, to see how their injury will go over time. They could have avoided weeks of unnecessary pain if they saw their therapist earlier.

Remember these 5 injury factors. If you are experiencing any of these then don’t delay seeing your therapist.

  1. Consistent pain – is the pain always there? If the pain is constant, even at low levels of intensity; it is likely that it will not disappear on its own.
  2. Extreme pain longer than 3 days or discomfort lasting longer than two weeks – In the first few days of an injury, it will commonly be inflamed. If you are still experiencing pain or severe pain, you should see your General Practitioner or Physiotherapist.
  3. It feels “different” since the initial injury – Some ignore this feeling but if things do not feel right or the same as before, chances are they are not.
  4. You have changed how you move post injury – This can lead to the development of compensatory pains. Sometimes it is hard to tell if you are walking, bending or turning differently. If you are not sure, then ask someone close to you to watch how you move.
  5. If you experience the pain easily with a specific movement – We have all said this at some point “It hurts when I reach / bend / move like this.” If you are saying something like this post injury, you may have injured something specific which should be assessed. 

Now you can recognise if your injury is less likely to heal on its own and the importance of following up on an injury with your therapist. Remember, the longer you wait to seek treatment, the harder it generally is to resolve your injury.
 
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