In this study it was examined whether early versus delayed rehabilitation was most effective in treating acute muscle injuries.
A randomised controlled trial (RCT) was conducted with 50 amateur athletes who obtained an acute injury of the thigh or calf muscle.
Participants were recruited in less than 48 hours post injury to receive either early therapy (2 days after injury) or delayed therapy (9 days after injury).
All participants completed a four-stage therapy regimen;
Week 1; daily repeated static stretching
Week 2-4; daily isometric loading (contractions of a particular muscle or group of muscles) with increasing load or weight
Week 5-8; dynamic loading with increasing resistance x 3 days per week
Week 9-12; functional exercises combined with heavy strength training x 3 days per week
Results showed the interval between severe muscle injury and a return to sports was shorter in the early-therapy group than in the delayed-therapy group. Therefore it shows that early rehabilitation is more effective than delayed rehabilitation in acute muscle injuries.
The results of this study can also be applied towards our clientele here at MD Health with random occasional flare ups and any minor injury obtained acutely long the way. This article supports the importance of early loading or weight bearing of injured musculotendinous or relating to both muscle and tendon tissue tissue. It is important to get on top of injuries sooner rather than later and can help in the long term healing process if rehab is commenced early.
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Article source: https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMc1708134