What is Exercise Rehabilitation?
Rehabilitation is the process to regain full function following injury and involves restoring strength, flexibility, endurance, and power. It is achieved through various exercises and drills. Rehabilitation is as important as treatment following an injury but unfortunately is often overlooked.
The aim of a rehabilitation program is to regain pre-injury levels in all aspects of physical fitness. A full rehabilitation and strengthening program is essential to ensure full recovery and to prevent re-injuries.
Regardless of the type of injury (sports, accidents, repetitive stress), the principles of rehabilitation are often the same. It is important to understand that everyone is different and will respond to different exercises and treatment regimens at different rates. Rehabilitation programs should aim to restore muscle strength, endurance, and power, improve flexibility, proprioception, and balance as well as functional exercises.
There are three major stages to rehabilitation that we follow in our office:
- Relief - The focus of this stage is to allow the body to heal by decreasing inflammation, improve mobility, and increase flexibility. This stage is often rushed which results in poor quality healing and can lead to re-injury
- Corrective/Strengthening - The focus of this stage is to begin to correct muscle and joint imbalance that is typically the cause of many injuries or a result of the body recovering incorrectly from a previous injury. Time is taken to break bad habits and build better ones. This includes strengthening, endurance, power, and balance.
- Maintenance - Only after successfully completing a customized rehabilitation program can you give yourself the best opportunity to avoid future injury. With the tools learned from your program, it is the responsibility of the patient to continue to utilize the tools they’ve been given to continue down the path of overall wellness.