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FAQ

How long before I can get physio after a bone fracture?

The start of physiotherapy after a bone fracture depends on the fracture itself. For a simple fracture, physiotherapy can be started after the cast is removed, which is typically after 6 weeks' time. If the fracture required surgery, the surgeon will decide when the bone is healed enough for the removal of the cast and they will make a referral for physiotherapy at this time. 

Can a small bone fracture heal itself?

Some small bone fractures are not always casted if the fracture is minor in nature.  However, there may still be a removable brace that may be prescribed by the doctor.  Despite the minor nature of the fracture, there may still be pain, swelling, loss of range and strength.  As the fracture is healing, it is important to start physiotherapy treatment to get back to regular activities as soon as possible.

How can I heal my bone fracture as fast as possible?

Working with an experienced physiotherapist who is going to provide the most appropriate treatment will ensure that the recovery time is as fast possible.  The physiotherapist has to prescribe a good set of exercises to address the loss of motion and progress the treatment as the patient shows improvements.  The patient can also help speed up the recovery by being diligent and consistent with their home exercises.

How do I recover from a bone fracture after surgery?

After surgery, the fractured joint will be placed in a cast for a set period of time.  Once the bone is healed on X-ray, the cast will be removed and the patient will be referred for physiotherapy.  The physiotherapist will prescribe treatment to address the pain, swelling, loss of motion and strength.  Treatment may include some pain relieving electrical modality, manual treatment, exercises and education.  The physiotherapist will be able to advise the patient on when they can return to their usual daily and recreational activities.

What is the expected recovery time for a bone fracture?

The recovery time for a fracture depends on the nature of the fracture.  For simple fractures that only required casting, the bone is usually healed within 6 weeks.  However, because the cast immoblized the invovled joint, there will be a loss of motion and strength once the cast is removed.  Physiotherapy treatment will help improve these limtations.  Most people will be able to regain their range of movement and strength within a 6-8 week period.  Of course, these ranges are only approximations because there are so many individual differences - some people may recover sooner and some others may take a little longer.

Does stretching everyday prevent shoulder pain?

Stretching on a regular daily basis will definitely help prevent injury to the shoulder.  A physiotherapist can help prescribe the most appropriate shoulder exercises that you can do at home to help maintain good shoulder movement and function.

Does lifting heavy at the gym cause long term damage to a shoulder?

It depends!  Lifting heavy doesn't automatically mean there is going to be damage to the shoulder.  There are safe ways to continue with lifting as long as there is proper posture and technique during the lift.  Also, it is important to work up to heavier weights over extended periods of time so that there is enough strength in the shoulder to tolerate the lift.  However, like any joint, if there is excessive use and repetitive motions over time, this may negatively affect the shoulder down the line. Therefore, it is important to do a variety of strengthening activities and be aware of any developing limitations so that injuries can be prevented.   

Does sleeping on your side cause shoulder pain?

Not necessarliy! However, if there is a history of shoulder pain or a recent injury to the shoulder, then it may be painful to sleep on that particular side.  

I have a popping noise when I rotate my arm. Is their something wrong with my shoulder?

Some noise from joints like popping or clickins is perfectly normal.  If those noises are associated with pain or other symptoms then there may be a mechanical reason why it's occuring.  If there is discomfort then it would be a good idea to see a physiotherapist so that they can assess the shoulder and provide any treatment if there is a problem with the shoulder.

What causes shoulder pain to be worse at night?

There are a few reasons why shoulder pain is worse at night.  Firstly, during the day you are moving around and doing your day to day tasks.  This keeps the shoulder a little more mobile and pain is not as noticeable.  However at night, you are not moving around as much and this causes the shoulder to stiffen up more.  Secondly, at the end of the day, it is likely that there are less distractions than during the day which makes you more aware of the pain.

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