Preventive Rehabilitation: Is it essential?


People who are active in sports are bound to experience injuries from time to time. Treating injuries can drain the patient both mentally and physically. However, you may have noticed that there are athletes who never get injured and when they do, they spring back in a short time.

These athletes may be thought of as lucky but luck has very little to do with it. A majority of the time, they have been going through preventive rehabilitation (Prehab).

What is Prehab?

These are a set of exercises put together for a specific individual. They aim to make the athlete stronger and less susceptible to injuries. The primary type of injuries that they prevent are overuse and misuse injuries.

Sports such as tennis require players to be using the same motion techniques over and over, and this leads to wearing of the muscles in that area. When one is not careful, the players end up with tennis elbow which is not only painful but will also put them on the bench for a long time.

Overuse injuries can be detected early, but most people ignore them imagining it will go away. Pain that can be remedied by Prehab includes low back pain and shoulder pain.

Isn’t Prehab the same as warm up?

The simple definition above may lead one to believe that Prehab is just a fancy term for warm-up exercises, but that could not be further from the truth. The idea behind them is almost similar. However, warm-up exercises are short-term and are done a few minutes or hour to the sports activity.

They are also geared to preventing shock injuries such as sprains but do nothing else. On the other hand, Prehab exercises are regular. You may have to do them up to two or three times a week depending on how active you are and your susceptibility to injuries.

Who should join a Prehab program?

While athletes who spend all their time practicing and playing competitively can benefit immensely from Prehab programs, they aren’t the only ones. The following groups of people can also join the program.

  • People with active hobbies and those that participate in sports regularly Some people have “normal” 8 to 5 jobs, but every once in a while after work or during weekends they will be active in sports or competing in a marathon or bike riding competition. They may not consider themselves fully fledged athletes but they are prone to injuries from their activities, and a Prehab program is ideal for them.
  • Prepping for surgery People who are getting ready for an operation are also good candidates for Prehab programs. Muscle strength plays a significant role in recovery. When the muscles are strong, chances of a fast and seamless recovery are higher. Some of the surgical procedures that may require a Prehab program include hip arthroscopy, anterior cruciate ligament surgery and cuff repair in the shoulder. Sometimes the program is so successful that the surgery is no longer needed.
  • Those who are recovering from injury Once you have suffered an injury, getting back in shape and especially to the pre-injury performance can be an uphill task, but Prehab programs can help. It can even help prevent further injury which is a big problem among athletes.

Final thoughts

Being active is good for the body, but sometimes it may go a bit far. The body, just like our cars and machines needs to be serviced every so often to keep them in tip-top shape. A Prehab program is one of the best ways to ensure you do not go into shock when you become active after a period of rest. However, you should make sure you visit a certified institution for the best results.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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