Your arm has three separate bones: the humerus in the upper arm, and the ulna and radius in the forearm. Fracturing any of these bones calls for medical treatment, including physical therapy to ensure proper healing. By taking the right steps, you should regain full movement and strength when your arm heals. Below are a few aspects to remember when undergoing treatment for this issue.
What Factors Influence Broken Arm Recovery?
1. Immobile Arms Require Therapy
Doctors immobilize the broken bone to help it heal evenly and correctly. However, you must remain active during the immobilization process to ensure the muscles remain strong enough to support the bones. This is why many doctors recommend physical therapy as soon as possible, even if your arm is in a sling or cast.
Exercises will involve unaffected areas of your arm—such as the wrist or shoulder—until after the removal of the cast. From there, your therapist will introduce exercises to build strength and increase flexibility in your entire arm.
2. Recovery Time Varies
While each patient is different, it usually takes between four to twelve weeks for bones in the arm to heal. However, your physical therapy regimen will likely exceed that window, depending on which bone experienced the fracture and how severe it is. Your age also significantly affects the healing time, as older people often experience bone loss, resulting in a longer healing and therapy process.
3. Proper Pain Treatment Is Necessary
Pain and discomfort make it challenging to perform the proper exercises. In this case, your doctor may provide a strong pain medication for you to take at the beginning of treatment. However, you should only take these medications according to instructions, and refrain from driving or operating machinery while medicated. As the break heals further, your doctor will switch to an over-the-counter pain reliever, which has fewer side effects.
The more you know about your therapy sessions, the more beneficial they will be. That’s why our team at Physical Therapy of Andalusia in Covington County, AL, strives to educate patients while treating their ailments. We have over 39 years of experience helping with post-fracture rehabilitation and chronic pain conditions. Call (334) 222-5785 to schedule an appointment. Visit our website for more information about how we can help you.