It’s no secret that rest, under most circumstances, is just about the worst thing you can recommend for a patient with a musculoskeletal injury. Although it was very apparent what NOT TO DO, it has been unclear as to what the best course of treatment immediately following an acute injury actually is.
Well, now it appears that EARLY exercise intervention may actually be just what the doctor ordered.
In a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a group of physicians for the Tendon Research Group Bispebjerg set out to investigate the effects of early vs. delayed onset of rehabilitation on post-injury return-to-sport timeline.
“This study shows the clinical consequences of protracted immobilization after a recreational sports injury. Starting rehabilitation 2 days after injury rather than waiting for 9 days shortened the interval from injury to pain-free recovery and return to sports by 3 weeks without any significant increase in the risk of re-injury. The observed difference supports the importance of early loading of injured musculotendinous tissue.”
This is no surprise for those practitioners in the FAKTR camp since this is something we’ve been advocating for years. Early, but appropriate, loading of tissue with exercise (optimal loading) helps patients heal faster.