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Rosenberg, Kirby, Cahill, Stankowitz & Richardson

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How can you stay active after a burn injury?

When a burn injury results in the loss of movement, endurance and strength, you may feel at a loss for what to do next. Will you be able to work out again? Can you live an active lifestyle with a burn injury? The amount of activity you can perform depends on the severity of the burn. However, Beyond Burns claims you can still exercise and stretch following most burn injuries.

You will have specific exercises planned custom for you.

Early treatment

The physical therapist aims to maintain movement in the early stages following your burn. Your activity and exercise may include standing, walking, feeding, and performing daily activities independently. You will also have exercises for the burned areas of your body. The more you can move, the more likely your burns will heal and leave you with the function of those body parts. Most burn patients experience pain and discomfort during stretching exercises and require pain medication.

While the movement is essential, you cannot stretch and exercise following a skin graft operation. You must wait until you heal to start stretching exercises.

Later activities

Once a burn heals, scar tissue begins to form. As the scar tissue forms, your skin becomes tight and difficult to stretch. Generally, scars continue to tighten from about 12 to 18 months. When stretching, you may feel a burning sensation. When given a list of exercises, moisturize ahead of time because new skin is dry. Make sure to work out in a cool area because burns restrict your ability to produce sweat.

Over time, most people find their movement becomes more fluid and easier.