When To Start Physical Therapy After Injury?

Image presents When To Start Physical Therapy After Injury

Ouch! Sounds like you landed yourself a doozy of an injury – one that’s got you icing down and feeling less than stellar. But between the pain meds and the Netflix queue, a crucial question pops up: “When should you start physical therapy after an injury?”

The good news is that physical therapy (PT) can be a lifesaver when it comes to injury recovery. But hold your horses – while PT is fantastic, there’s a sweet spot for starting treatment. This guide will explore the best time to get on board with physical therapy after you’ve taken a tumble.

Should you see a physical therapist after your injury?

Absolutely! Physiotherapists, or PTs as your cool friends call them, are basically movement ninjas. They’re like detectives figuring out why your body’s acting up, not just chasing away the pain for a sec. PTs will build a whole plan to get you moving again, so you can get back to doing all the things you enjoy. They go beyond the quick fix, equipping you with the knowledge and exercises to stay strong and prevent future issues. So, if you want to move with more freedom and feel your absolute best, PTs can be your trusted partners on the journey to peak health.

But how soon is too soon for physical therapy after an injury?

A lot of people think you gotta wait forever to see a PT, but that’s not always true. Sure, some injuries need time to chill out first. But for many things, getting started with PT early on is actually the best course of action. The key thing though is to listen to your body – it’ll tell you what it needs.

Image presents But how soon is too soon for physical therapy after an injury

Think of it like this: right after an injury, your body goes into overdrive trying to heal itself. This might involve inflammation and swelling. That’s where the classic RICE protocol comes in – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. RICE can help manage these initial symptoms and create a calmer environment for healing to begin.

Can physical therapy be started immediately after a typical injury?

Great news! For a lot of injuries, physiotherapists can jump in pretty early. Sprains, strains, and minor fractures often see benefits from some light movement exercises right off the bat. This can help keep things loose and moving, which can actually speed up healing. However, the ideal start time of physical therapy depends on the specific injury. Here’s a rough guide:

  • Sprains and strains: PT can usually get started within a few days to help you chill out the pain and get those muscles moving comfortably again with some easy exercises.

Image presents Can physical therapy be started immediately after a typical injury

  • Muscle tears: Depending on the severity of the tear, PT might kick-off after some initial rest. They will focus on exercises to help your muscles heal strong and prevent scar tissue from becoming a party crasher.
  • Fractures: Once your doctor says it’s okay and your bone starts knitting itself back together, physical therapy (PT) can be a huge boost. PT will help you get your strength and flexibility back on track, so you can move like you did before.

This is a solid tip, but listen up: to really make your routine shine, chat with a physio to get a plan just for you.

What are some signs you should see a physical therapist right away?

Now, icing and taking it easy can be great for some bumps and bruises. But there are some warning signs that mean you should get yourself to a physiotherapist right away. Let’s talk about what to keep an eye out for.

Image presents What are some signs you should see a physical therapist right away

  • Severe pain:  If the pain is so bad you can’t relax, it’s time to see a doctor. Don’t wait it out – getting checked out is key.
  • Numbness or tingling: That could be your nerves acting up. To avoid any long-term issues, it’s best to see a doctor or nurse soon. They can help figure things out.
  • Can’t put weight on It: If even standing on the injury is a no-go, a physiotherapist can step in. They’ll assess the situation and create a safe rehab plan to get you moving again.
  • Look out for shape changes: If the hurt spot looks wonky compared to normal, that’s a bad sign. Better safe than sorry, see a doc. They can figure out what’s wrong and get you a plan to get back to feeling tip-top.

Is it too late to start physical therapy for an old injury?

Ditch the idea that PT is just for brand new ouchies. Even if your old injury’s been hanging around forever, a physical therapist can be a total game changer.

PTs are experts at helping you conquer chronic pain, stiffness, and weakness with a customised exercise plan. They also excel at managing conditions like arthritis and can significantly improve your overall movement patterns, helping you avoid future injuries. So, ditch the “it’s too late” mentality and see a PT – your body will thank you for it!

How can you find a physical therapist near you?

Finding a great physio is easy! Here are a couple of ways:

  • Chat with your doc: They often know reliable and experienced therapists who can help.
  • Hit the web: Search online directories for physios in your area who specialise in treating your particular injury.
  • Key factor: comfort level: Pick a physio you feel good with – someone who listens to your concerns and explains your treatment plan in a clear way.


Feeling banged up? Don’t go it alone! A physiotherapist can be your partner-in-crime on the road to recovery. They’ll help you get stronger, more flexible, and back to doing the things you love.  Why wait? Take control of your comeback and book an appointment with a physio today!

Need a helping hand on your recovery journey?

Life throws curveballs, but injuries don’t have to sideline you permanently. At Australian Disability Services, we’re here to be your partner in recovery. We know physical therapy can be crucial in regaining strength and independence after an injury.

Take charge of your comeback – contact us today! Our awesome advisors are here to listen and brainstorm how we can help you reach your full potential. Injury or not, ADS is all about giving you the power to live your best life.