🎓 📝 LAB REPORT-365 📝 🎓
#48 The Importance of Active Rehabilitation
An all too common story we see at APL or hear about through the grapevine is people being told to ‘rest’ in order to recover from an injury. Unfortunately, this mentality often hinders recovery and puts the client or athlete at a worse place than they were at prior to the injury.
When a client or athlete injures themselves, there are several general guidelines we recommend they follow:
1) Assess the injury – For minor muscle strains, it is unlikely you will need to see a health care professional. For more serious injuries (i.e. severe muscle strains / tears, bone fractures, dislocations or spinal injuries) consult with the relevant health care professional in order to confirm the extent of the injury, and establish a ‘baseline’ for you to work with in your rehabilitation.
2) Develop an active rehabilitation plan – This is where we feel a significant portion of people hinder their recovery. Rather than completely resting an injury, with no physical activity what-so-ever (unless strictly directed by your health care professional, and this should only apply to a handful of more severe cases), you should be developing a rehabilitation training program that has been modified to suit your injury and current abilities. This may involve reduced weight, reduced range of motion, or regressed difficulty in movements. When developing this training program, we always recommend you see someone with experience in rehabilitation through resistance training (and where possible, involve your relevant health professional). An important point to note is that a good rehabilitation training program should not lead to sharp, excruciating or severely increased pain; however you will experience some discomfort, as the rehabilitation process will actively seek to recruit the injured and supporting muscle groups in a modified and controlled way.
The benefits of active rehabilitation are numerous – when carried out properly, you will reduce the overall time it takes to recover and heal; you will reduce the amount of muscle atrophy that occurs; you will re-strengthen the injured area, and help prevent future injuries from occurring; and you can also reduce pain by simply moving the affected muscle groups, promoting blood-flow and reducing stiffness.
Again, to re-iterate – always ensure you see a relevant health care professional in the case of serious injury, and when developing a rehabilitation training program see someone with qualified experience. However, don’t be afraid to get back to training!