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When Should I Start Physical Therapy After Compression Fracture?

When Should I Start Physical Therapy After Compression Fracture?

The timing for starting physical therapy after a compression fracture depends on the individual’s specific circumstances and the fracture’s severity. Compression fractures are most commonly seen in the spine and can result from osteoporosis, trauma, or other factors that weaken the bone.

Remember to receive clearance from a healthcare professional, typically an orthopedic specialist or spine specialist, before starting physical therapy after a compression fracture. The initial focus of treatment for a compression fracture is usually on pain management, immobilization, and allowing the fracture to heal.

Here are some general guidelines regarding the timing of starting physical therapy after a compression fracture…

  • Healing Progress – The fracture needs time to heal and stabilize before engaging in physical therapy. Typically, this healing process takes approximately 6-12 weeks, depending on the individual’s age, overall health, and the severity of the fracture.
  • Medical Clearance – Before starting physical therapy, your healthcare provider will assess the healing progress and determine if the fracture has reached a point where therapeutic interventions, such as physical therapy, can be safely initiated.
  • Pain Management – Pain management is a crucial aspect of treating a compression fracture initially. Your healthcare provider may prescribe pain medications and recommend rest or bracing to alleviate discomfort during the early stages of healing.
  • Individual Assessment – Each person’s situation is unique, and the timing of starting physical therapy may vary based on individual factors. Your healthcare provider will consider your specific health status, any concurrent medical conditions, and the nature of the fracture before determining the appropriate timing for physical therapy.
  • Gradual Progression – When physical therapy is initiated, it will typically involve a gradual progression of exercises and activities tailored to your specific needs and capabilities. The goal is to rebuild strength, improve flexibility, and restore functional abilities safely.

Sometimes, your healthcare provider may recommend beginning physical therapy in the later stages of healing to facilitate proper recovery and prevent complications such as muscle weakness and stiffness. Follow the guidance of your healthcare provider, and do not rush into physical therapy or any other rehabilitation program without proper evaluation and clearance.

Please consult your healthcare provider before starting physical therapy or any exercise program after a compression fracture to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your condition. Your healthcare provider and physical therapist will work together to develop a customized rehabilitation plan that promotes healing, restores function, and reduces the risk of further injury.