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Why clinical rehabilitation is crucial for your recovery

One of the MOST frustrating and disheartening things as a practitioner is helping your clients become pain free, and then seeing them one, two, or six months later returning with the same issue.

This blog helps to explain why this most commonly happens and how correct clinical rehabilitation can prevent this from happening to you.

Okay, so here’s how we GENERALLY see it as practitioners! Please Note: This isn’t applicable to all clients.

  1. People usually come to see us because they are in pain. Pain that slowly comes on is usually a secondary symptom of a primary dysfunction.

 E.g. You have pain around your knee cap (secondary). That is because your quadriceps are too tight (primary). 

  1. We work together with the client to help them get symptomatic relief.

E.g Relieve your knee pain.

  1. We educate the client on WHY they got their symptoms and what they need to do to prevent it from happening again.

E.g Your quadriceps are too dominant/tight.

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  1. We advise them on how to manage their pain going forward with a holistic approach which may include things like mobility, activation, strength, meditation, referral and or routine treatments.

Stretch through your hip flexors (quadriceps), correct imbalances with strengthening exercises, avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time and review in 8 weeks for a check-up.

If you pull apart the above four steps, clinicians and clients generally tend to get lost somewhere between step three and four which most commonly leads to clients relapsing. This is where we need to understand the importance of engaging in clinically prescribed strength rehabilitation, rather than just engaging in generic exercise when you’re recovering from an injury.

How your choice in what strength training you engage in can make or break you…

By combining the right strength and mobility exercise training, you can avoid having to see your health practitioner for hands-on treatment so regularly. It can be detrimental to your health long-term if you don’t get an injury rehabilitation program that is specific to your recent injury or dysfunction. Everyone’s musculoskeletal system is different so it’s important to consult with your health practitioner to determine what the best form of rehabilitation would be for you. It is always advised that you seek help from someone who has a clear understanding of the musculoskeletal system and the pathology of your injury, for example, an osteopath, physiotherapist, exercise physiologist or a strength and conditioning coach with injury rehabilitation experience.

The main and most important reason to find someone who understands your injury pathology is that they will give you a program that is specific for you to avoid any exacerbation of your existing injury and susceptibility to new injuries. For example, if you have developed a shoulder injury over a period of time that is aching or niggling away and you go to a gym to try and strengthen it, there is a very high chance you will make it worse.

This can be for a few reasons including:

  1. The choice of exercise may be wrong. I.e. If you have a shoulder issue caused by poor posture, and you do too many press or push exercises, your condition is likely to worsen.
  2. You may have an inability to carry out the exercise with the correct technique which will lead to compensatory patterns forming elsewhere in your body (and often secondary injuries).
  3. Your body may not be able to complete an exercise properly because of immobility in certain joints which inevitably causes incorrect muscle recruitment patterning.

The list goes on…

It is the responsibility of your practitioner to educate you on the importance of the previously described steps 3-4.  Together, the correct type of strength rehabilitation should be determined. There are multiple facets to consider in determining what’s best for you, including:

  • What is your range of motion like compared to the norm?
  • What is your muscular flexibility like?
  • Are you able to isolate and activate all your muscle groups correctly?
  • Have you been engaging in well-rounded exercise to date?
  • What is your posture going to be like if you continue living life as you are now?
  • IMPORTANTLY – What will you enjoy and what will make you compliant?

Considering the above, you may be advised to engage in clinical Pilates rehabilitation or clinical strength rehabilitation.

CLINICAL PILATES REHABILITATION:

Clinical Pilates training has an emphasis on re-gaining lost range of motion and isolated muscle activation. Clinical Pilates usually focus’ on isolating particular muscle groups and getting the neuromuscular patterning strong, so your body can readily use these muscles with bigger, more complex movements such as a squat.

CLINICAL STRENGTH REHABILITATION:

If you have an adequate level of mobility and the ability to correctly activate different muscle groups, you’re likely to benefit more from a functional training space. This is where you can start to work on compound exercises which use multiple muscle groups.

Clinical rehabilitation isn’t always forever! It is used to get your musculoskeletal framework functioning efficiently and to educate you on how your body works. The idea is to use this form of training as a stepping stone or as a compliment to whatever sport, exercise, or daily activities you’d like to be able to participate in pain and injury free.

By Ash Kaye Smith

Osteopath + Pilates Instructor | Kinematics Health + Performance

If you would like to understand the difference between our Reformer Pilates and Clinical Pilates service offerings at Kinematics, check out our previous blog.

Our second location, Kinematics Strength + Recovery (K2) was created to bridge the gap between injury rehabilitation and the return to optimum performance to ultimately keep our clients doing what they love without having to rely so heavily on regular hands-on treatments. We offer both 1:1 & 1:4 small group Strength + Recovery and Strength + Conditioning sessions. To find out more about what we offer at K2, check out our K2 services.

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