If you suffer an injury or undergo a surgical procedure, you can expect to deal with some localized swelling. Swelling helps to limit movement in an area in hopes that it will prevent you from putting stress or strain on the area, but swelling can actually be a hindrance to effective healing because it limits the flow of blood to and from the injury site, and your body needs oxygenated blood to bring vitamins and nutrients to the area to speed up healing.
Swelling is a natural reaction to trauma, but it can actually slow down healing, so you want to control or decrease swelling as best as possible. In today’s blog, we explain how physical therapists work with patients to help control swelling after an injury or surgery.
Tips For Controlling Swelling After Injury
If you suffered a severe ankle sprain and want to reduce swelling so that you can rejoin your soccer teammates, or you’ve been dealing with fluid buildup in your feet as a result of your diabetes, you’d benefit from connecting with a physical therapist. Here are some of the techniques they’ll use to increase fluid drainage in a specific area of your body:
- Manual Therapy – Manual therapy involves the physical manipulation of joints and bodily structures to improve drainage. Your PT will physically maneuver your arms, legs, feet and hands to help improve circulation and drainage.
- Targeted Exercises and Stretches – Moving the joints both above and below the injury site will help to improve lymphatic drainage.
- Compression – Your physical therapist can use compression sleeves or stockings to help open up blood vessels in a specific area to reduce swelling.
- Posture And Gait Changes – Your physical therapist can examine your posture and analyze your gait to see if adjustments need to be made because they are contributing to excess stress on an area and prolonging swelling.
- Heat/Ice – A physical therapist can explain how heat and ice can be used to reduce swelling or help improve joint mobility, which in turn can help with lymphatic drainage.
Our team of physical therapists specializes in reducing swelling and strengthening structures so that you can get back to physical activity sooner. Don’t end up stuck on the sidelines or living a less active life than you wish because swelling is causing mobility issues. For more information, or to sync up with a physical therapist to help with a swelling issue, reach out to the team at OrthoRehab Specialists today.