Physiotherapy is the treatment of choice for many injuries, including wrist fractures. But what are the physio treatments like after a wrist fracture? How can physio help with a wrist fracture? And how long will it take to recover? Read on for all your answers!
A wrist fracture is a common injury that can happen from a fall onto an outstretched hand, or from direct trauma to the wrist. Wrist fractures are usually treated with physio treatment and immobilization in a cast for six weeks.
Frequently, healing will occur without complications. In some cases, however, there may be complications such as swelling of the joint space due to fluid accumulation under the skin (seroma), increased pain and difficulty using your hand, or infection at the site of injury. Physio can also help reduce the risk of such complications.
A physiotherapist will provide you with information on what they do to achieve an optimal recovery after a wrist fracture, reduce pain, improve range of motion, and restore normal function of the arm, wrist, hands, and fingers.
Is Physio Good For A Wrist Fracture?
Yes, physio is a very good choice when it comes to recovering from a wrist fracture. If you are worried about physio for a wrist fracture, don’t be! There is a lot your physio can help with, for example, post-operative pain, stiffness, swelling, weakness, numbness, or altered sensitivity – all symptoms I commonly see with clients who have suffered a wrist fracture.
The physio treatment for wrist fractures will vary slightly depending on the severity of your fracture, but after a cast has been removed and you are ready to start physio rehab – here’s what typically happens.
How Can Physio Help A Wrist Fracture?
Your physiotherapist may use manual therapy techniques such as massage, mobilization, or manipulation along with exercise therapy during physio sessions to improve both arm and hand function – to promote a quick return to normal activities without difficulty, for example, dressing, self-care, and work activities.
Benefits Of Physio After A Wrist Fracture
- Promotes optimal healing.
- Reduce post-operative pain.
- Reduce stiffness.
- Improve dexterity and grip strength.
- Improve sensation.
- Reduce swelling or fluid around the wrist and fingers.
- Promote bone healing.
- Improve muscle strength.
- Facilitate return to normal activities.
- Reduce the risk of falls (wrist fractures commonly occur due to falls in the elderly population).
- Reduces the risks of complications such as long-term pain or limited range of motion.
Your physio will provide you with an individually tailored treatment program to help achieve an optimal recovery after a wrist fracture and return to sports or working activities.
– Exercise Therapy.
– Hands-on Therapy: Massage / Soft Tissue Mobilization
Your physio will prescribe a series of exercises to help improve wrist and arm function post-injury.
As you progress through your treatment, the volume and type of activities may be increased by adding more challenging functional tasks such as lifting weights or playing sport – all within the limits determined in consultation with your physio.
As a result of the body’s natural healing process, you may experience some pain and discomfort. Your physiotherapist will employ hands-on techniques to help ease this where appropriate – such as massage or gentle manipulation.
A laser is used during physio sessions for wrist fractures to reduce swelling and increase blood flow to the wrist. Laser therapy works by stimulating cellular activity, which reduces pain and promotes healing – leading to an improved range of motion. It works with the body’s natural healing process and feels quiet smoothing.
There is new research a laser therapy all the time, check out The Laser Institute for more info if you are curious.
How Long Does It Take To Heal From A Wrist Fracture?
I see this a lot in practice and it goes for any condition or aliment – give it time, you that your nervous is not like everyone else, it is working and you are doing all you can to achieve a full recovery. Be patient with yourself.
There is no set time for everyone, everyone’s own timeline for healing is different. Laser therapy has been found to speed up bone healing, but it generally takes one year for the new, mature bone to form.
The physio might last from 10 – 12 weeks but depends on the progress of the client and their overall general condition and their adherence to the treatment program.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this short blog about wrist fractures. And yes, physio is good for wrist fractures for many reasons, in the short and long-term. Physio starts as soon as possible after a wrist fracture to give you the best chance of optimal and timely recovery.