Physiotherapy Interventions In Post-burn Rehabilitation

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Physiotherapy Interventions

Burn injuries can be quite excruciating and hard to deal with. Their main problem is that they are one of the most painful mishaps that can affect a person. This is mostly because of the agonizing lingering side effects caused to the skin, and during severe cases, internal organs as well. Physiotherapy is effective in treating many diseases, find out its interventions in post burn rehabilitation too.

As you are going to read next, we are going to list the most common burn injuries that exist. Then, we are going to take you through the aftereffects that take place after burns. Afterward, we are going to mention the exercises physiotherapy centers do to aid patients in the process of rehabilitation after burn injury. 

Burn injuries and common complaints

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a burn is:

 “An injury to the skin or other organic tissue primarily caused by heat or due to radiation, radioactivity, electricity, friction or contact with chemicals.” 

Burn injuries are not only the direct result of being burnt by fire, they can also happen due to other contaminants or circumstances like chemicals or radiation.

Another aspect to consider is that not only the burn injury’s source (the cause) is relevant, but the intensity of it is important too. As you may have heard before, injuries of this nature are measured by the type of occasioned burn, that is the “intensity” of them or their “degree”.

Burn injuries listed by cause

As it is listed above, burn injuries can be caused by exposure to radiation or radioactivity, chemicals (an injury caused by the misuse of a hazardous liquid), electrical (electrical energy transformed into heat, ultimately causing harm to the body), thermal (by any heat source; the most popular one), cold burns (chiefly known as “frostbite”), and non-accidental (it can be caused by abuse or any type of deliberate self-harm.)

Burns listed by type

This is one of the most popular ways of classifying burn injuries, and the most heard when attempting to describe the severity of an event. There are four degrees of burn injuries:

Type 1

The “lightest” form. It involves damage to the epidermis. The sensation is painful, and it can take a person five to ten days to recover

Type 2

Type 2 can be superficial (affecting the papillary dermis) or deep (affecting the reticular dermis.) Both can take a couple of weeks (mostly three to eight) to heal

Type 3

Type 3 to all the layers of skin. The affected area remains painless, as the burned areas contain nerve damage

Type 4 

This type of burn can transcend the skin since it can affect the adjacent titular fat, skin, and bone. In most cases, amputation of the affected area is required

Burn injuries and common complaints

For the major amount of burns, significant problems arise during the aftermath of the incident — especially, for many of the neighboring areas to the affected region. Some of the most common complications and agonies occur due to swelling, blistering, scarring, and principally from infections. The last is a direct result of the protective barriers on the skin being harmed — resulting in the aforementioned. 

It is crucial to seek burn care and rehabilitation specialists, as they not only treat the injury but also help to deal with the common repercussions of it.

Process of rehabilitation after burns

When it comes down to burn care and rehabilitation, as with many injuries, the sooner it gets treated, the larger possibility of recovery is. This is universal to many injuries, but it is especially valid for burn injuries — they need to be addressed from the get-go.

Another aspect to take into consideration is that burn rehabilitation programs not only encompass the act of treating the wound itself, but a whole spectrum of other emotional elements linked to our overall psychology, wellbeing, and social integration. This makes it a multidisciplinary treatment — One that is best found in burn care centers, where competent specialists are able to care for your needs accordingly.

There are a number of steps and procedures that take place in order to augment the success rate of recovery. The first one, which at the same time is the most important and intuitive one, is looking for help right away. As a mantra, the sooner your injury gets treated, the better the possible outcome will be. Note that burns are not static, meaning that they can worsen or spread to nearby tissues with the passage of time.

Once help is sought, the main goals of burn rehabilitation are the following: maintenance of a range of motion of the affected area, minimize scar contracture and scar development (ideally), ameliorating functional aspects, and fostering societal reintegration once improvements happen. 

Some of the most common treatments include:

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Therapeutic exercises

Functional movements are done to upgrade the range of motion in the affected region — For example: If the face is affected, a specialist will create a regimen based on exaggerated facial expressions. If the torso is involved, jumping jacks prescribed. 

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

This treatment relieves and controls pain by the usage of mild electrical currents dispatched onto the designated area

Hydrotherapy

This particular treatment helps wash away the dead skin and cells, minimizing the risk of infection, maintaining overall hygiene, and boosting the patient’s wellbeing.

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT)

ESWT consists of sending shockwaves in varying intensities to promote vascularization – blood flow – of the affected sector

Scar tissue massage

Once the healing process reaches a plateau and pain recedes, the application of balms, creams, and execution of massages helps in managing scar development

The goal of Burn Injury Rehab

Our main goal is to raise awareness of burn injury rehabilitation, and its importance during, and after burn injuries. It is always a great idea to look for the best professionals available as soon as possible in order to maximize and capitalize your recovery rate, minimize permanent effects, and achieve a quasi-return to normal function as swiftly as possible.

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