Injuries happen. There is no way around them. Train long enough and push yourself hard, and you will likely have to deal with an injury at some point.
Injuries can occur because of many things. Poor technique, lack of recovery, and making a mistake or misgrooving a repetition can all lead to a minor or major injury.
If you've ever had to deal with an injury or are dealing with one now, you've probably wondered, "Would rehab help me heal quicker, or am I better off giving my body time to rest?"
Let's find out.
What Is The Goal of Rehab Work?
Rehab, also known as physical rehabilitation, is an ongoing process designed to help people overcome physical limitations and injuries. Doing rehab is vital for strengthening overlooked muscles, improving motor patterns, and reducing the risk of future injuries.
Rehabilitation has a broad scope and can go over many issues to restore your physical abilities and make you independent again. For one person, this could mean overcoming a knee injury; for another - restricted hip movement.
The goal of rehab is to improve the patient's quality of life, allow them to get back into the habit of exercise, and reduce their risk of falling victim to injuries in the future. For example, if a trainee injures themselves from squatting, rehab would involve:
- diagnosing the issue
- improving the squat pattern
- strengthening muscles that might be weak and unable to contribute effectively
Can Rehab Speed Up The Healing Process?
No two injury cases are the same, but rehab can help people overcome them quickly and get back to normal living. Of course, severe cases will require time off. For example, you can't rehab a broken ankle. The joint needs a cast and immobilisation to heal enough before it's safe to start using it again.
In most minor to moderate injury cases, starting a rehab program early on can be beneficial. Controlled movement under the supervision of a physiotherapist can help once the initial inflammation and swelling go down.
Movement is beneficial because it encourages blood flow to the injured area, allowing more oxygen and nutrients to travel there and aid recovery. Movement also allows us to strengthen surrounding muscles, providing stability and reducing the risk of future injuries.
Using pain as guidance can also help because your body will let you know how things are going. Severe pain can be an indicator of prematurely trying to do too much. But slight pain can be a good sign that you're ready to start moving and rehabilitating your injury.
Other Benefits Of Rehab Training
Aside from helping us deal with a current injury, rehab training is profoundly beneficial for reducing the risk of future issues. First, a good rehab program starts with the proper diagnosis.
What caused the injury? When did it occur? What was the patient doing when it happened? These are all questions that go into diagnosing the injury and taking actionable steps to prevent it from occurring again.
A good rehab protocol also promotes strong and healthy motor patterns for preventing future injuries. Rehabilitation also works on issues that might have contributed to the injury. For instance, you might have injured a knee during squats because your knees caved in. But the source of the injury could be a tight hip, flat feet, weak muscles, or something else. So, aside from working on the knee, your physiotherapist will take a thorough look at your hips, thighs, feet, and ankles to determine the origin and help you resolve the issue.