In my office I encourage questions and open discussion about your treatment. One of the first questions out of every patient’s’ mouth is, “How long will it take to get rid of this pain?” Coincidentally, it’s also one of the most difficult to answer. I do have general guidelines to follow when it comes to healing time. Especially if you’re coming in for what you assume to be a musculoskeletal concern.
1. Muscle damage will take between 3 and 6 weeks to heal. (Think pulled hamstring.)
2. A torn tendon can take 2-6 months to heal. (Think twisted ankle.)
3. Broken bones generally need 6-8 weeks healing time. (Think broken arm that gets a cast.)
4. A ligament or tendon damaged though “repetitive stress trauma” can actually take months to years to realign and regrow properly. (Think neck pain that started slowly after years on a computer with poor posture.)
The vast majority of patients seen in the office seem to have damaged either muscle or tendon through one of 2 ways: through an accident, or through long term, repetitive misuse of an area. Using this fact alone, we can put most clients somewhere between 3 weeks, and a year to feel pain free. (Because that really narrows it down, right?!)
Obviously, many factors need to be assessed. How frequently will you be able to come into the office? Will you be able to change aspects in your life that give your body the time and space to heal? Will you be diligent about doing your homework and call or email me when you have questions? How much pain are you experiencing now? Do you have any other conditions that we need to take into account? How is your diet? Water Intake? Sleep? All these play a role in your healing time.
One of the most difficult factors is a history of past accident in the area we are are looking to treat. This is an accident that happened 5,10 or many years ago resulting in recurring pain. Usually it involved tendon or ligament damage that was not rehabbed long enough, if at all. If I had to pick a pain that will require a little more in depth analysis and more frequent follow up, it is this pain.
I think you get the picture. Once we run through all of our testing, movements and do a thorough history, I will be able to give you a better idea of how long the healing time will be. And once I see you for a second visit, I’ll be able to write up a treatment plan for you.