fracture healing physiotherapy

Fracture: Leaving it half healed?

Most fractured (broken) bones will heal in usually six weeks. But that is only half of the problemFracture: Leaving it Half healed

Unfortunately when you have enough stress placed through your body to fracture a bone, there’s usually a lot of other soft tissues and structures that have been damaged in the process. Add to that the common use of immobilisation in plaster, you’ll have joint stiffness and considerable muscle weakness.

This may even effect joints that don’t seem related to the break. For example, a fractured shoulder may result in a very stiff elbow or wrist just because you were keeping your shoulder in a sling for a few weeks.

Fractures like most injuries, come in many forms from relatively minor fractures to major life threatening injuries.  The following information will allow you to find out where your fracture fits in this continuum so you have a better understanding of what it is, how and why it occurred, what the healing process involves and what you can do to assist this process.


broken bone   What is a Fracture?

A Fracture happens when there is a break in the continuity of a bone.  It is common and on an average a person has two fractures, during a lifetime.

Most of the time, fractures are caused by a sudden injury that loads, stresses or pressurises the bone more than it can take – such as trauma from motorvehicle accidents or falls.

A Fracture may also be the result of some medical conditions which weaken the bones, for e.g. Osteoporosis, some cancers or osteomyelitis.

Your risk of fracture depends, in part, on your age. Broken bones are very common in childhood, though children fractures are generally less complicated than fractures in adults. Most human bones are surprisingly strong and can generally stand up to fairly strong forces. However, if that force is too powerful, or there is something wrong with the bone, it can fracture.

As you age, your bones become brittle and you are more likely to suffer fractures from falls that would not occur when you are young. The older we get the less force our bones can withstand.

Types of Fracture:Types of Fracture in bones

  1. Open/Compound fracture – when the bone breaks through the skin and damages the underlying tissue. Fractures that are open to the outside are more prone to infection.
  2. Closed/simple fracture – when bone breaks but the skin is intact showing no wound on the outside.
  3. Displaced fracture – when the bone cracks and/or moves away from its usual alignment.
  4. Non-displaced fracture – when the bone cracks but stays in alignment.

A broken bone requires Immediate Medical Attention for proper healing and alignment of bone. Following a fracture, the patient will first be managed by a doctor, who will decide on management option, be it conservative or surgical. Conservative management of broken bones can be done with immobilization with casting or splinting.

Most fractured bones usually take 6 weeks to heal but that is only half of the problem.

Treatment Of Fractures (Post CAST Removal) : Do not leave it half healed!

A lot of soft tissues and structures gets damaged due to fracture and after immobilization in plaster for several weeks, you tend to get pain, joint stiffness and considerable muscle weakness. This may even affect other joints as well resulting into hindrance in dailiy activities.

Physiotherapy Rehab is required to regain the muscle strength and function.

When Should You Start Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is often recommended by doctors to accelerate the healing process once bone is aligned. Physiotherapy manipulation, electrotherapy, joint mobilization techniques and exercises will aid strengthening the bone and the surrounding tissue. This process will help the patient recovery by accelerating healing, reduce pain and swelling, and improve range of motion.

The type of therapy will, of course, differ based on the type of fracture. But in general, therapy begins when the cast is removed. Strengthening and aggressive range of motion exercises usually must wait until the bone has healed.  The Physiotherapist may also assess the requirement and suggest and train you to use assistive devices during the recovery. Gait training is also done wherever, required.


  • Seek treatment at an early stage
  • Ensure your physiotherapist provides you with home exercises.

More Information?

Please contact one of our clinics directly for advice specific to your fracture. You can make an appointment with ReLiva Physiotherapy & Rehab at any stage. This is especially important if you believe you are not making satisfactory progress in your recovery, or if your mobility is compromised.

This article is purely for general information. Please contact your healthcare expert for specialised medical care. Please go through our Disclaimer and Privacy policy.

ReLiva Tips for an Injury-free Run

5 Tips to Prepare for an Injury-free Run                                                            

For runners, taking on a run for the first time, the key is to have a solid training base and a detailed plan that allows
for a gradual increase in SPEED as well as DISTANCE.

Too Much. Too Soon. Too Fast

The most common issue that we see is the “Terrible Too’s”. You suddenly get up and start to train without a plan and end up doing “ Too much. Too soon, Too fast”
And that is the most common cause of Injury!
Chalk out a plan of training! Even better, if you do it along with a trained expert. The training plan should strike a balance between speed and strength. It would help you build up stamina, strength and endurance gradually, without causing any injury.

Prevention is better than Cure

Always remember to warm up, before you start running. Many injuries can be avoided by:
warming up  and stretching regularly
Spending 10 minutes to warm up before each run will definitely cost you much lesser time than if you injure yourself and wait back to recover.
However if you do injure, it’s best to see a physiotherapy expert immediately to chalk out a quick recovery plan.

Mix Things Up

It is very easy to get into a habit of running the same route, at the same pace during your training. That begins to limit your muscles and their strength.
“Mix things up!”
Challenge your body with harder runs on certain days and recover at a slower pace another day. This will work-out many more muscles in a much more variety and keep them prepared against injuries.

Keep Moving

Any good training plan needs no more than four days of running or walking every week. That’s not too much to do!
It is important that you don’t overdo it! And equally important, that you keep doing it sincerely! You can make the switch from run & Walk to only run if you
find it too easy. The day you feel, you’re not ready, continue to do walking! But ensure that you ‘Keep Moving’.

Look after your Body

While you train for your run, your body and muscles undergo a lot of wear and tear. Listen to your body! If you are tired, it’s a sign that the body needs rest! Overtraining immediately shows in form of decreased performance and injuries !
Look after your body. Swimming, Sauna or steam room can really help relax and stretch on a bit.

With these 5 things you can easily train for your run without worrying to injure yourself. Enjoy every step that you take to prepare yourself. Remember – “It only makes you stronger and better than what you were before!”

This article is an attempt to make the runners aware of the general thumb rules about running related injuries. These guidelines should not take the place of medical advice if attempting to return to sports following an injury. If an athlete requires assistance during or in the progression of a return to sport program they should consult with their medical expert, or physiotherapist

Running Injury : WARNING signs and Care

Marathon runners push the body’s limit to increase their exercise capacity. But they shouldn’t ignore the vital signs of injury andRunning Injuries- Warning signs and care learn to differentiate a serious injury from a minor one.

This article is an attempt to make the runners aware of the general thumb rules about running related injuries.

Warning Signs of Injury

What pain is ok?

• General muscle soreness

• Slight joint discomfort after workout or next day that is gone in 24 hours

• Slight stiffness at beginning of run or walk that goes away after first 10 minutes

What pain is not okay? (You should not train!)

• Pain that is keeping you awake at night

• Pain that is evident at beginning of run/walk then becomes worse as run/walk continues

• Pain that changes your stride/ style of run

What to do if I get reinjured / injured?

• Ice area: 15-20 minutes several times per day  (RICE Protocol)

• Elevate injured part while icing

• Rest (at least initially)

• Analyze program for possible causes

o What did I do differently in training?                                                     reliva- the official Physiotherapy Partner for Navi Mumbai Mayor's Marathon

o Big jump in speed of running?

o Significant pace increase?

o Shoes worn out? Or change in shoe model?

o Change from all treadmill or soft surface to road running?

• Cross-train on non-impact cardio – follow similar minutes that you were doing running/walking (elliptical or swimming or cycling)

• Determine plan to return to full program, return to running very slowly

• Physical therapist and/or orthopedic

Warning Signs of Overtraining

• Difficulty performing typical workouts for more than a week

• Excessive fatigue

• Higher resting heart rate

• Decreased appetite

• Sorer muscles

• Troubled sleep

• Irritability

• Increased perspiration

• Decreased desire to train

Whether you happened to injure yourself by accident or by over training, do not lose heart. If you reach out to a trained physiotherapist soon enough after the injury, the chances are that you can recover much faster  and get back to your training than if you just sit back and wait for it to heal itself.

These guidelines should not take the place of medical advice if attempting to return to sports following an injury. If an athlete requires assistance during or in the progression of a return to sport program they should consult with their medical expert, or physiotherapist.

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