Physiotherapy – Prehabilitation and Rehabilitation.
Prehabilitation: Preventative program or pre-surgical program. Corrective exercise programming aimed at reduced risk of non-trauma or overuse injury.
Rehabilitation: The intervention of restoring someone to health or normal life through training and therapy after sustaining injury.
Most people are aware of the role of physiotherapy in rehabilitation. Often this is through well-known and understood situations like sports injury, post operative recovery and after debilitating illness. However, what is less well recognised is the role of physiotherapy in the newly coined ‘prehabilitation’.
Rehabilitation is focussed on returning a person to pre-injury status or wellness following illness or treatment. Most people associate this process with manual therapy, strengthening exercises, return to lifestyle activities and advice and management for symptom elimination. Whereas prehabilitation is a key component in health and fitness in enabling continued improvement, refinement and progress whilst minimising the risk of injury potential.
The key elements of prehabilitation are preventative input and performance enhancement as well as in alternative form of pre-treatment preparation in an attempt to assist in the most effective recovery. It can be less acknowledged as a reason to seek the input of a physiotherapist in comparison to injury recovery but it is of equal importance.
When we consider the most common causes of non-traumatic injury we are discussing those injuries that are acquired through incorrect use, overuse, overload or suboptimal control in execution of movement. Often these are as a result of sports, exercise and hobbies. Whilst these can never be completely eliminated what we can say is that the risk factors of these injuries can be significantly decreased through the correction of movement balance, control and precision.
In doing so we are getting our human equipment to perform at its best. But just as important is the bodies capability to withstand, tolerate and distribute the continuous loading and unloading of forces that transfer throughout our bodily systems. Failure to control these forces effectively is one common cause of injury. Conversely maximal control leads to body movement, motion and motor control being its most effective. How well we move determines our physical performance and efficiency as much as how often or how long we train or exercise. These benefits can then be successfully transferred into practical life situations to improve how we function.
One crucial aspect of prehabilitation is recognising any movement or motor control deficits before they become an injury. This ties in with the common conceptions of what a physiotherapist actually does. Injury prevention through optimising our functional movement that we use within sports, hobbies, exercise and training can be enhanced through the assessment of an individual before an injury has occurred to put in place the corrective mechanisms that can ultimately avoid the injury becoming a reality.
So, physiotherapy is more than just series of treatments to help someone recover it is also a method of enhancing performance for achieving goals and most effectively reducing injury risks. Specifically, within LEAR, this is true for all our Physio-led services:
Our focus within all services is tailored to your needs – prehab or rehab. How do we know what you need? By assessing you first, before you start exercising with us. Your own programme is then designed to provide the correct rehab or prehab-based focus for you.