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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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