When an area of the body has been injured – acutely, as a result of overexertion or surgery – physiotherapy plays a key role in ensuring the patient's effective return to their previous activities – both work and leisure – while at the same time preserving damaged tissue and promoting the healing process. A key role is played by the movements or activities performed during a specific phase of healing of the damaged or operated tissues. They should not be overloaded; they should be given the right stimuli to ensure sufficient blood supply and a smooth healing process. Prolonged immobilisation (immobility/cast/orthotic etc.) slows down the healing of the tissue and reduces its resilience in the later rehabilitation period, thus prolonging the overall recovery time.
The physiotherapist, together with the patient, sets short- and long-term goals and, based on these, plans the rehabilitation process, recommends what is allowed in a particular phase of the rehabilitation, thus giving the patient security and confidence in his/her recovery. Education plays a major role in helping the person to understand the situation, the mechanisms of pain and one’s symptoms, and the processes of healing and tissue repair. The role of the physiotherapist is essential to reduce a fear of movement after injury and to facilitate a smooth return to normal activities and the ability to return to work.