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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Acute Injuries:Begin Strengthening Immediately in Acute Injuries or Post-Operative

     Yes, that means right away!! 

     Golden Rule of Foot: As soon as an injury occurs, restrengthening of the muscles in the area involved should begin.

     As I have mentioned in an earlier blog, injury treatment normally begins with an Immobilization Phase (where muscles weaken). At some point after the acute pain has normally subsided, the Restrengthening Phase begins. Sports Medicine tries to blend those phases together so that there is less weakness setting in, and a shorter rehabilitation with less flareups. But what kind of strengthening exercises can you do when you are in pain???

     First of all, let us look at the types of strengthening exercises available. Starting with any of these, as long as they are pain free, can prevent or slow down muscle weakness. The 6 basic types from easiest to hardest are:

  1. Active Range of Motion--simply moving the muscles without resistance.
  2. Isometrics--the muscle tightens but goes through no range of motion.
  3. Isotonics--a fixed weight or amount of resistance is placed on the individual muscle/tendon
  4. Progressive resistance exercises--the resistance is not fixed and can be varied by tension or the strength of the person (usually against a stretch band).
  5. Functional/Dynamic Exercises--where the muscles/tendons are exercised in groups, normally with some weight bearing
  6. Isokinetics--muscles are strengthened around the same motion (speed) with variable resistances set (normally done in physical therapy offices, but has been less popular).
     When you have an injury, immediately think about how to keep strong. Before you actually see a therapist or trainor for advice, can you start moving the area alittle pain free? It must be pain free!! Can you at least move the muscles in the joints above and/or below the injury? With a sore ankle, you could at least start doing Active Range of Motion strengthening exercises at the toes (wiggle toes) and the knee (move the knee into flexion then extension). I will have many posts on these concepts.

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.