Can Physical Therapy Be Used To Replace Muscle Surgery?

Athletes and non-athletes alike often suffer from a torn muscle. This injury can be devastating if left untreated and may require surgery to manage. However, there are also many types of physical therapy that can be used to manage this injury and possibly avoid surgery..

Surgery May Be Necessary

When an athlete tears their muscle during exercise, there is a serious chance that surgery may be necessary. For example, when the injury is severe enough, it may require surgery such as haematoma drainage and fasciotomy to manage nerve and vascular compression in the muscles. These surgical procedures ensure that recovery from torn muscles is complete.

But what if a person wants to avoid muscle surgery? For example, they may have only a minor tear or want to avoid surgery recovery that may take them out of their game. That's when physical therapy becomes such an important tool.

Research Shows The Benefits of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy has quietly become one of the most popular ways to treat serious muscle tears. For example, one study has found that physical therapy for a torn meniscus is just as effective as surgery. These benefits were most apparent if the person continued their physical therapy for a full year after the injury.

In another study of rotator cuff tears, it was found that physical therapy was just as effective as surgery in a similar way. The type of physical therapy, as well as the intensity performed during therapy, varied depending on the type of injury and severity before treatment. Managing torn muscles with physical therapy required that the athlete start following a treatment model as soon as possible.

A Typical Physical Therapy Model

While there are a few different models for physical therapy, it is important to understand the most effective one for specific muscle injuries. A great physical therapy model will help an athlete move through the acute phase, the subacute phase, and the remodeling phase. The first of these phases is when the injury is too severe to tolerate.

By focusing on careful treatments and highly-focused therapy methods, the muscle injury can move to subacute. In this phase, the pain has greatly decreased and much of the use of the muscle will have returned. During the remodeling phase, physical therapy switches up and becomes more focused on building strength back into the injured muscle.

By following this type of physical therapy model, it is possible to recover from serious physical injuries. For athletes who want to avoid surgery, physical therapy can an appropriate and efficient tool.