The initial aims of physiotherapy are to get you pain free and able to return to your previous level of activity. This may be competitive sports, back to work or simply to carry out your daily activities. In each case, the rehabilitation process after your injury is very important;
• It reduces the likelihood of re-injury
• Safely grades your activity to pre-injury levels
• Reduces the risks of injuring another body part.
At BWT our physiotherapists, rehabilitation instructors and personal trainers aim to return our clients back to full function in the shortest possible time. Devising a successful rehabilitation programme requires a lot of skill if it is to be effective and we understand that every client/athlete has different post injury goals and levels of ability to return to.
At BWT we have a rehabilitation studio with equipment to facilitate your treatment. We can also loan you equipment to continue your rehabilitation programme at home. We will guide you through the phases of rehabilitation, set you short-term goals and advise you on realistic time frames.
Your rehabilitation programme will start on the first appointment with your physiotherapist. There is strong evidence to suggest that progressive agility and trunk stabilization exercises are effective in promoting an earlier return to sport/activity and preventing recurrence of injury. The other components of your rehabilitation include:
• Muscle strengthening and conditioning
• Flexibility training
• Neuromuscular control (balance and proprioception)
• Functional exercises
• Specific sports skills
• Correction of abnormal biomechanics
• Advice on maintaining cardiovascular fitness
Muscle strains and injuries
Chronic tendon disorders often result from intensive repetitive activities, predominantly eccentric (loading under tension) in nature. Due to the higher than normal muscle forces transmitted via the tendon, the ability of the tendon to repair itself becomes impaired and the tendon deteriorates. This is termed ‘tendinosis’.
It has been suggested that the very type of muscle activity that causes this type of injury (eccentric) should be emphasized in the rehabilitation of the injury. Evidence suggests that the tendons (like muscles) can adapt to stress placed upon them:
• Tendons become stronger as cellular activity increases and appropriate collagen reactions accelerate.
• Hypertrophied tendon
• Thickening of the collagen fibres
• Increase in collagen cross links
• Tendon fibres then align themselves optimally to manage the high stress levels
These principles are applied to the rehabilitation of chronic injuries such as Achilles tendinosis and Patella tendinosis (jumpers knee) and we have had great success with these rehabilitation protocols.
Joint and ligament injuries
With joint and ligament injuries, muscle activity becomes the only remaining way to stabilize the joint preventing unwanted movements. Rehabilitation involves recruiting powerful muscular contractions to restrain the joint. e.g. in ACL deficient patients the hamstrings work hard to provide a pull on the shin bone to help offset the forward pull of the thigh muscles. In addition, the hamstrings are recruited prior to heel strike decelerating the progress of the leg. Tests show that the hamstrings in ACL deficient knees are recruited earlier prior to heel strike (initial contact) than those of the control subjects. This protective mechanism is essential in the rehabilitation of such patients. We have a specialized ACL rehabilitation class from day one post surgery up until you have reached your pre injury levels. These classes take place on a one – to – one basis; at our studio and we also have good relationships with local gyms in order to continue your rehabilitation further.
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