Healing From a Fracture?

Broken and fractured bones are not fun. They hurt A LOT at first. Then they hurt while they heal. But everything will be OK in the end.

…Except it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes the soft tissues around the bone heal poorly, or the joint is misaligned, and it never quite comes right – maybe the muscles around the joint never quite recover full strength, or maybe osteoarthritis develops in a nearby joint. Sometimes a small(ish) injury turns into a big problem. But what can you do? What should you do when you’re first injured? What can you do later?

When to See Your Osteopath

If you’ve broken or fractured a bone (especially if it’s caused you extra pain in the past) an appointment with an osteopath is a good idea. Bones heal well when they’re well set, but the soft tissue around them can be more troublesome. The muscles around damaged bones can become weak and stiff while the bone repairs. Without proper care (or lots of luck) that muscle weakness can last, and result in permanent imbalances. Meanwhile, tendons and ligaments heal and strengthen more slowly than muscles following an injury. The whole system needs to work together for balanced, healthy movement so it’s not enough to just let the bone heal. Osteopaths are trained to address musculoskeletal conditions, including fractures, and can provide a holistic approach to managing your injury. What do we mean by holistic? We mean that we’ll look at your injury (and you) thoroughly and from every angle. We won’t just treat the fracture – we’ll treat your entire musculoskeletal system.

Here are some reasons why you may want to visit an osteopath if you have a fracture:

Pain relief: Fractures can be very painful, and osteopaths can use manual techniques to help reduce pain and inflammation in the affected area once the initial injury has settled down. 

Improved mobility: Fractures can make it difficult to move the affected area, which can lead to stiffness and muscle weakness. Your osteopath can help to preserve your mobility while you’re healing through manual manipulation and prescribed exercises.  It’s easy to get preoccupied with the broken bone, but it’s the utility – the way the bone and its surrounding muscles, ligaments and tendons propel you through movements and allow you to live your life – that matters. Your osteopath can help you maintain and even improve your mobility while you heal.

Faster healing: Osteopaths can help to improve blood flow to the injured area, which can promote faster healing of the fractured bone and the surrounding soft tissues. 

Prevention of complications: Fractures can increase the risk of developing other musculoskeletal conditions, such as osteoarthritis. Osteopaths can help to prevent these complications by providing appropriate treatment. 

Visiting an osteopath can be beneficial if you have a fracture. We may be able to aid in the healing process by reducing pain, improving mobility, and preventing complications.

But what if I have an old injury?

This is where it gets interesting. We prefer to see our patients when things first start going wrong. It’s better to nip a problem in the bud than let it develop after all. But Osteopathy is not a one-chance-only medical treatment. Even if an injury is old, we can still help. This is because bones, as mentioned earlier, usually heal well if set well. (If they’ve not healed well, we can refer you to specialists who can help.) But assuming the bones have healed, it’s the muscles, tendons and ligaments that need attention. These soft tissues are surprisingly resilient. With manual manipulation, massage, exercise and lifestyle adjustments pain relief, improved mobility and returned strength are all more than possible.

Next steps after a fracture

Call us on (03) 8360 8363. The Osteopaths at Altona Meadow Osteopathy are here to help with your recovery. You can also follow us on Facebook or Instagram for more handy tips and updates. It’s possible to recover your range of motion and muscle strength, so let’s get started!

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