Injury Rehab Mistakes

Injury Rehab Mistakes

It’s now five weeks since I broke my wrist and time to think about starting a rehab program.

It got me thinking that probably most people don’t have an in depth understanding of the rehab process and the specific steps that are required to get full movement capability returned to not only the injured area, but to the body as an entire system.

This lack of understanding can lead to some mistakes being made which may contribute to a longer than necessary rehab time or even worse, sending the injury rehab back a few steps.

The first phase of any injury…is when the injury happens!

This is when you apply the “rest is best” principle to control swelling, bruising and pain. It’s essential to have the injury assessed by a health professional at this stage so a treatment plan can be put in place.

The biggest mistakes people make at this stage are to not seek the advice of a health professional and to underestimate the importance of ICE. Icing the injury consistently every few hours in the first 3-4 days and then when needed for the next 3-4 days is so beneficial to getting over this acute phase.

If you don’t know how to ice an injury correctly and effectively, you should learn!

Phase two is re establishing movement patterns in not only the injured part of the body, but with the entire physical system. It’s not so much about getting stronger muscles but getting a stronger central nervous system and re establishing neural pathways.

If you rush this phase, there is a high chance of doing some other compensation injury, delaying the progress of the injury or worse re injuring it.  

Patience and paying attention to your body are key elements in any rehab program.

In the third phase we are starting to do some real work developing strength. This needs to be done in a controlled way that targets specific muscles that have weakened.

If you don’t wait for them to get strong and start to “get back” to normal activity to soon, you are vulnerable to re injury.

The last phase is also about strength but this time it’s integrated. The exercises you do in this phase are full body movements that require balance, mobility, co-ordination, strength and will get the heart rate up.

It’s this phase that will highlight any mistakes you may have made along the way with your rehab program.

If you know you aren’t ready for this kind of strength work, don’t push through. Go back to the phase you need to be at to get 100% recovery.

Rehab isn’t a race! It’s a process and how long it takes is very specific for every single injury and every single person.

And of course, Pilates is the only exercise method designed for the rehab of any injury for any person!

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