How Many Appointments Will I Need To Fix My Problem?

This is a question that often comes up when a client presents to the clinic with a specific musculoskeletal complaint.  This is probably one of the most difficult questions to answer because everyones specific injury or complaint will differ in relation to cause,  an individuals healing capacity, general health and wellbeing of the person, aggravating and maintaining factors.

Acute Injuries

Typically the acute muscle strain injury can be treated and resolved within 2-4 weeks if it is only minor.  More serious muscle injuries can take a little longer to heal and fully rehabilitate.  Acute low grade ligament sprains will also often follow this same pattern, however more serious ligament sprains can take 6+ weeks.   Individuals suffering disc injuries can often take several months – 12 months to fully heal.  Usually the osteopath will want to see you more regularly in the early stages of an injury and as things progress, they will need to see you less and less as you start to manage the rehabilitation process through your own exercise and stretching program.

Chronic Injuries

Depending on the type of chronic injury, some can taken many a couple months and more to address.  This will depend on the type of injury and other factors such as aggravating and maintaining factors.  Clients that present with multiple musculoskeletal complaints often can fall into this category as often they are related and each individual problem could be impacting on the recovery of the other.  For clients with conditions that will only progress as they get older i.e. osteoarthritis, the key with treatment is often helping the client improve their mobility and strength to buffer these changes and try to allows the individual to better deal with their complaint on a day to day basis.  Therefore, they may require treatments on a more maintenance type basis.  Now, when I say treatment, I don’t necessarily mean passive manual therapy, but also exercise prescription and revision of this.

How Can A Past History Of Injury Impact An Individual

The biggest predictor for someone to suffer a recurrence of their injury is whether or not the individual has suffered a similar issue before.  We all see clients who present to the clinic reporting a recurrence of an injury that they have suffered before. Whilst it may not be exactly the same as a previous injury, the individual will often cite a recurrence of this injury.  Often when dealing with clients who report recurrences of the same injury, it is important to review the whole body and determine if there are any issues that might be contributing to this recurrence.  It is also important to identify predisposing factors, maintaining and aggravating factors as well as underlying weakness and mobility issues so that these can be worked on from a treatment and conditioning point of view.  Depending on the type of injury and past history of injuries, this may take several treatments over weeks to months to address.

Aggravating and Maintaining Factors

It is very important that the individual identify the aggravating and maintaining factors of their injury or complaint.  Aggravating and maintaing factors can include:  postures, work activities, leisure activities, ergonomic factors and many more.  Once these have identified and strategies are put into place to minimise these factors, ones injury or complaint will hopefully have a greater chance of recovery.  Treating clients where there are multiple factors maintaining or aggravating their complaint may actually slow the recovery time for ones complaint.

What happens if my I am not responding to treatment?

Typically I will tell my clients with an acute injury that they should see some improvement within 3-6 treatments.  For chronic complaints this can take 6-10 treatments.  When clients are responding as expected or are not improving as I would be expecting of an condition, referral is important.  This may mean referral to your general practitioner or sports medical professional for further assessment and treatment options.

In the information above I have tried to give you some background with the reasoning process behind healing times and the treatment approach to acute and chronic injury.  I have also discussed how past history of injury and identification of maintaining and aggravating factors is a very important component of the consultation.  If you have any specific questions about an injury or what may be involved, please feel free to email or call and chat to one of our osteopaths on 03 9670 9290.

Principle Four Osteopathy is one of Melbourne City CBD leading Osteopathy clinics. At the clinic we treat a wide range of clients, ranging from the office worker, exercise enthusiast to athlete. We have 3 experienced osteopaths working across both of the clinics.

The Melbourne City CBD clinic is located at 29 Somerset Place (basement), close to the corner of Elizabeth St and Little Bourke in the Melbourne City CBD. Our premises adjoin the Jon Weller Personal Training Studio, a fully-equipped training space which allows clients to combine their osteopathy treatment with exercise tutorials or specific training programs and rehabilitation.

The Docklands clinic is located at 717 Bourke St (Ground Floor), beneath the Channel 9 building near the walkway from Southern Cross Train Station to Etihad Stadium. Our premises adjoin Pilates on Bourke, a fully-equipped pilates and yoga training space which allows clients to combine their osteopathy treatment with exercise tutorials, pilates or specific training programs and rehabilitation.

To speak to an Osteopath or book an appointment at Principle Four Osteopathy, please book online or call 03 9670 9290.