Whether you have a new injury, an existing injury or want to learn more about preventative care the question "When is the right time to see an Osteopath?" may have crossed your mind. So, is there a right time or a way to know when you should seek expert help?
I like to think the answer to this question is simple and there are clear ways to distinguish when the right time is, however there are a few instances where this can become a bit blurred and knowing whether to seek help can cause some confusion.
New or Acute Injury
When it comes to new and acute injuries these are best left for 3 days or until bruising developed. In this early phase of recovery swelling often limits movement, and although treatment can improve these symptoms the body needs to initiate healing for the repair process to begin. In this time ice application to the site of injury is recommended and if comfortable to do mobility should be maintained.
This type of injury can be confusing and often with lower back pain we frequently see an acute on chronic presentation, meaning a flare up of acute symptoms on an existing ongoing historical injury.
Sometimes acute management can work if this is the case, however the body commonly will use past experience to begin the healing process and use the most relevant information it has, causing a more debilitating episode of lower back pain, so in these instances we recommend early assessment, or at least discussing the injury with an expert.
Our guidance for chronic injury refers to your normal, this being the recovery time you expect the injury to recover based on previous episodes, if it isn't following this pattern or is different from past injury then we recommend having this new presentation assessed as the symptomatic structure at fault could be different from previous injury.
When undergoing a training programme you want your body to be conditioned and performing at its optimum come the event date, so seeking professional help to keep you body on form to achieving this can be recommended. Depending on the activity, intensity and training period leading up to the event the recommended course and frequency of treatment will be tailored to you.
Maintenance/ Preventative Treatment
Whether you're an athlete, a labourer, desk worker or retired, maintenance and preventative care has a place in all of our lives. We service and MOT our vehicles but often neglect our own mechanics and the day to day stresses we place on our bodies. Having maintenance sessions with your Osteopath can detect and prevent injury, by identifying imbalances within the musculoskeletal system before they become a problem.
We advocate maintenance, especially for our chronic injury sufferers as it breaks the cycle and reduces the frequency and need for treatment. Or someone who wants to keep on top of their physical wellbeing as it's an opportunity to check in with our Osteopaths once, twice or a few times a year.
If you are unsure about your injury and when to seek help contact us (T:07733201225 or E:email@example.com) for advice and we can discuss your symptoms on an individual case basis and recommend when the most appropriate time for you to seek treatment would be.