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Relative rest - moving whilst injured, what's the best advice?

You may remember back to a time when the Medical Profession used to recommend bed rest as the best way to manage injuries.

Given a significant rate of Australians suffer with musculoskeletal pain and injuries each year, there has been significant research to determine the best practice approach to injury treatment and management strategies. Needless to say, a lot has changed in our clinical approach thanks to the application of these research findings. We now understand the benefit of an entirely different approach, known as Relative Rest. This refers to keeping your body moving as you move through your injury rehabilitation and includes optimal loading and whole body movement. It is now understood that the faster you return to movement, or actually never stop moving the quicker you are likely to improve and restore your normal function. A growing body of evidence shows the positive impact of Relative Rest resulting in improved clinical outcomes and a reduction in personal and social impact of pain and overall dysfunction. Relative Rest has two key aspects: 1) Injury treatment and management Evolving science behind Injury Management recommends employing the POLICE protocol: Protection, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression & Elevation. This approach promotes loading the injured area within limits guided by your Physiotherapist as best practice injury rehabilitation. We now understand that unloading and completely resting an injury is suboptimal and can actually prolong the effects of the injury. 2) Maintaining movement of the whole body Movement has been extensively researched and is now considered best practice as part of a holistic approach to injury management. Research suggests movement minimises length of injury, reduces pain and associated dysfunction. This approach is now widely accepted among the medical community as the most effective and efficient strategy to get you back to good health. Great activities to keep you moving when injured include Walking, Physio guided rehab exercises & modified Pilates. Next time you come into the clinic and see us we'll be ready to discuss appropriate activities outside of your injury to maintain your overall function and ensure you return back to yourself in the quickest possible time!


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