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Fractures (categories, etiology, physical therapy)

We call the rupture of the muscle fibers which is caused either by an excessively intense contraction or by excessive stretching or by direct boredom hitting the muscle.

Fractures are divided into:

• 1st degree sprain: it is a simple stretching of the muscle fibers and the patient has pain and reduced movement in the muscle

• 2nd degree contusion: it is a partial rupture of muscle fibers with intense spasm and hematoma, the muscle losing its elasticity

• 3rd degree sprain: is the complete tear of the muscle (ie the muscle is cut).


• Insufficient warm-up (preparation) of the muscle

• Excessive muscle fatigue

• Bad technique when performing the exercises (muscular imbalance)

• Previous injury without good recovery (muscle develops inelastic scar tissue at the site of previous injury and this makes it weak and replacement inelastic)

• Bad equipment e.g. inappropriate shoes

• Exercise in an environment with low temperatures

• Lack of sleep and poor diet (potassium, magnesium, sodium deficiency)

The participation of the physical therapist is necessary in all three cases of contusions.

In 3rd degree fractures, it takes over after surgical rehabilitation under the instructions of the surgeon.

In 1st and 2nd degree fractures, our contribution is immediate:

• Application of a cold pad during the first 48 hours to reduce hematoma and swelling

• After the first 48 hours after the acute phase has passed, the application of warm patches can begin in combination with massaging

• Use of TECAR to reduce swelling and increase blood circulation in the area

• TENS currents to reduce pain and swelling and improve circulation to the site

• High frequency laser

• Magnetic stimulator and massage

Symmetrical exercises with low intensity are given, progressively increasing over the days.

The scar tissue that forms at the site causes pain and inelasticity for it, and the patient is forced into a program of stretching exercises (stretching).

Following the rehabilitation, we have the isotonic exercises, specialized proprioceptive and neuromuscular coordination exercises (i.e. exercises to retrain the muscle in its activities).

In the final stage we have eccentric and plyometric exercises.

Every athlete/patient is unique with specific needs and requirements and every injury is also different from everyone even if they have the same diagnosis.

Any contusion of any degree should be fully healed before the athlete/patient returns to training/routine.

The correct cooperation of the doctor with the physical therapist (and coach in the case of an athlete) will reduce the risk of recurrence and the recovery time.



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