What is Pre-hab and How Can it Help Me Recover Faster?

pre-hab

What is Pre-hab and How Can it Help Me Recover Faster?

It’s no secret that having physiotherapy after an injury or surgery helps you recover faster. But what if there was a way to prevent an injury in the first place? Or what if there was a way to speed recovery from surgery long before you went under the knife? Pre-hab or preventative rehabilitation helps patients heal faster after surgery, speeds recovery and, in many cases, prevents injury in the first place. Call NRG Athletes Therapy Fitness today for a consultation with our physiotherapist. They can determine if pre-hab is right for you.

What Is Pre-hab?

The term pre-hab is short for preventative rehabilitation. A physiotherapist typically uses pre-hab in two ways. First, they can teach targeted exercises and stretches to patients who are at risk for serious injuries. Second, pre-hab is a form of physiotherapy used prior to surgery to speed healing and recovery.

Pre-hab for Injury Prevention

Pre-hab is one of the best ways to prevent injuries in patients at risk for developing significant movement problems. Those with physically demanding jobs may find that the exercises, stretches and pain relieving techniques taught at physiotherapy help them perform in their jobs. This is especially true in jobs where there are high incidences of certain injuries. This type of physiotherapy typically targets areas where injury is most likely to happen. For instance, those in the military are more prone to develop foot, knee, hip, and back problems due to the rigors of training and combat. Pre-hab can mitigate many of these injuries by teaching correct lifting techniques, proper posture and effective core strengthening exercises that keep service members strong and healthy. The same can be said for construction workers, firefighters, factory workers, or other employees in highly physical occupations.

Even pro and amateur athletes are finding that working with a physiotherapist is paying off, long before an injury happens. Focusing on the areas that are stressed by everyday movement and poor habits, a physiotherapist looks at your most injury-prone areas and helps you correct any problems before you get hurt. Chances are you are hunched over your computer most of the day. Working with a physiotherapist can help strengthen your core and correct your posture, keeping you strong and healthy. Since an object in motion tends to stay in motion, physiotherapy is also an ideal way to begin an exercise regimen. Focused on strength, mobility and balance, pre-hab can keep you injury free for life as you begin the process of getting in shape.

Pre-hab for Better Surgical Recovery

When it comes to going under the knife, many people fear what will come after the stitches have been sewn. This is especially true for anyone who has a total joint replacement. Faced with the risk of time in a rehabilitation hospital, many people delay joint replacement surgery out of fear of a long, difficult recovery. But doing physiotherapy before surgery can reduce the odds of needing inpatient rehabilitation by 73 percent. Patients who are stronger before surgery also meet physical milestones sooner than those who do not. Within 24 hours of surgery, someone who has had a total knee replacement is expected to walk 500 to 1000 feet with the assistance of a walker. Those who work with a physiotherapist before surgery are more likely to meet this demand. These patients are stronger and have better blood flow. Physiotherapy also teaches them many of the movements, stretches, pain relieving techniques, and strengthening exercises they will need in their recovery.

If you are considering surgery or if you need to fine-tune your everyday life, physiotherapy is the ideal place to start. Contact NRG Athletes Physiotherapy Winnipeg, CA for a consultation.

The Connection Between Core Strength and Better Balance

Physiotherapy as an industry has been talking about the link between core strength and better balance for years. When the “core” muscles around your trunk are strong, they prevent chronic lower back pain and many other injuries, but they also keep you from losing your balance and falling down. A stronger core will help to keep you upright — especially as you age and start to become more at risk of falling. If you’d like to get started on a core routine to improve your balance, contact NRG Athletes Physiotherapy today to speak with a physiotherapist!

How Core Strength and Balance Are Linked

There are three systems in your body that help to control your balance. One is the vestibular system; the liquid in your inner ear functions sort of like a “carpenter’s balance” to keep you level. If you’ve ever felt dizzy, it means the liquid in the vestibular system can be “off” a little bit. Another balancing system is your visual system. Your eyes send signals to your brain about your position in relation to the world around you. The final system is the proprioceptive system, which has to do with your core.

 

Proprioception nerves are sensory nerves situated throughout the body that make you aware of your posture and awareness of spatial things around you. To stay balanced, you have to have equilibrium in all three systems. A weak core is one element that can make you feel off balance and cause you to fall down.

Core Muscles, Core Stability & Core Strength

Your core muscles are more than just your abs! In fact, there are two groups of core muscles: Inner core and outer core. The inner core muscles are attached to your spine; they’re the muscles that stabilize your core. The outer core muscles work in conjunction with the inner core muscles when you need to move your body from point A to point B (or to do most physical activities).

Core stability relates to your inner core muscles. These muscles stabilize your spine. Core strength relates to the outer core muscles and is developed to help you move around better. Engaging in physiotherapy will help you to train both inner and outer core muscles for better balance and movement.

Core Strength & Stability Through Physiotherapy

You don’t need a bunch of expensive gym equipment to start working on your core strength. In fact, here’s a quick exercise that many physiotherapists will recommend if you’re just starting out. It’s called the “drawing in maneuver,” or if you prefer the less fancy term, “sucking your gut in.”

First, stand up straight and find the proper pelvic position. This is done by rotating your hips forward and back finding the comfortable “middle” position. Then, draw your belly button in toward your spine. Don’t hold your breath — it’s not a breathing exercise. You should be able to talk, breathe and slowly walk around with your belly button drawn in. It sounds easy, but if you’re older, out of shape or recovering from an injury, the drawing in maneuver will be a little difficult at first.

 

You want to build up your core muscles until you can hold your belly button in for 30 seconds before moving on to more difficult core exercises. Also, if you feel any pain from this exercise, stop immediately. It shouldn’t be painful. As you build up your core, your physiotherapist will recommend moving on to more strenuous exercises that are appropriate for your age and ability. This can range from planks and bridges for the more athletic, to gentler workouts like a yoga routine for older folks. Your physiotherapist will also work with you on specific core exercises to help your balance.

 

If you have a weak core or you’re struggling with balance, physiotherapy can help! Contact NRG Athletes Physiotherapy Winnipeg, CA and schedule an appointment to get started with a physiotherapist today.

5 Benefits of Therapeutic Massage for Athletes

As an athlete, you already know that you’ve got to maintain optimal health if you want to keep playing the sport you love. Physiotherapy with an experienced physiotherapist is a big part of that, especially when you’re recovering from an injury. One of the main parts of a good physiotherapy regimen after an injury involves therapeutic massage. Below, you’ll learn five of the best benefits of therapeutic massage for athletes. Call NRG Athletes Physiotherapy now to learn more about how massage can help you live pain-free.

1. Improved Circulation

Regular massage during your physiotherapy program can improve circulation considerably. Better circulation means that your muscles get the blood supply needed to prevent stiffness and tension. Your muscles will work and feel better after therapeutic massage.

2. Improved Immune System

Sickness can be extra hard on athletes. Just one bad cold or flu can keep you out of the game you love for weeks — and you might feel less than your best for quite a while after that, too. Fortunately, massage helps boost your immune system’s natural defenses. During massage, your body is prompted to power up its natural cytotoxic capacity, which basically means that you’ll be better able to fight off germs, bacteria and illness more effectively.

3. Less Scar Tissue

When you’re injured, your body forms adhesions — bands of tough scar tissue — around the injury. These adhesions can restrict your movement, cause serious pain, and can delay your recovery for a very long time if they’re not treated. Your physiotherapy massage can deal with those adhesions very efficiently. Your physiotherapist can use specific targeted techniques that break up the adhesions, which unbinds your muscles. This is a very important component of your physiotherapy program because being adhesion-free is important for both pain relief and for your range of motion.

4. Muscle Relaxation

While muscle relaxation is the best-known benefit of massage, it takes on a whole new importance for an athlete. Muscle soreness, tightness and pain are all things that you expect as an athlete — but the good news is that you can greatly decrease these issues with regular therapeutic massage. Even after you’ve completed a physiotherapy program following an injury, you might benefit from regular massages with your physiotherapist.

5. Improved Posture

Massage, when coupled with other kinds of physiotherapy, can do a lot of good for your posture. Massage helps bring your body into an optimal place of alignment, which can naturally improve your posture. Better posture has multiple benefits for athletes. When you’ve got good posture, your body can move at its peak, all the time — and this means that you’re playing your sport with a bit of a natural advantage built in.

 

As an athlete, your body needs to be in the best condition at all times. This means that after an injury, you’ve got to recover with the help of a physiotherapy program designed by an expert physiotherapist. It also means that you need to recognize the importance of health maintenance. Something as simple as a therapeutic massage once or twice a month can help you feel your very best, and this means that you’ll be able to be at your peak for every game.

 

If you’re looking for noninvasive solutions for pain and injury or if you just want to be the best athlete you can be, contact NRG Athletes Physiotherapy Winnipeg, CA now to get started with an expert physiotherapist.

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