I have been involved in rehabilitation since the early 1993, and over that time our understanding of the body has changed dramatically.

Some of the things we have done back in the day we would not even consider doing today!

That being said there are some things in the field that have not changed; the process from injury to getting back to normal activity or sport is still the same process.

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Give yourself time to heal

When one gets to the stage where your body is experiencing nociception/pain, it has reached a stage where that is hampering the body in such a way it is overwhelming the compensatory patterns the body developed to cope and we experience pain.

Pain is the last symptom (like cancer, early on the progression there is no pain only once the disease has progressed sufficiently does pain present itself prompting a visit to the doctor) your body gives you to signal there is something wrong – unless your injury had a traumatic cause and is not happy.

The implication of the above on the rehabilitation process

In the last 20 plus years in the industry I have seen people start with the rehabilitation process, do what they have to do like clockwork.

The result is less pain more mobility/stability and they can resume their lives again with relative freedom and less pain.

This, unfortunately, is also where a percentage of people make the mistake of thinking they are cured and the rehabilitation process has finished.

Pain-free moment is only one part of the rehabilitation process, once you are pain-free you have to find the source of the pain and correct the source, whatever it may be.

rehab programs_2Once the compensations have been corrected you can move on with a strength and conditioning programme to get optimal strength through a full range of movement, make sure the body operates optimally biomechanically speaking.

Listen to your body

Everybody is different, we each have slightly different strengths and weaknesses and need individually tailored programmes according to what our specific needs are.

Your body would have learnt compensationary patterns and postures cope with the pain, restoration of a more efficient way of moving and posture is very important in the process and often overlooked or not fully understood by the client/patient.

Don’t stop your rehabilitation

I have seen and heard of so many people do what they have to once they are pain-free, stop doing what needs to be done, because ‘I feel fine’

.. I am sure a lot of rehabilitation professionals across the world will recognise those words.. within a couple of months the client will be back with the same complaint.

On one level I can understand it, insurance companies only cover so much treatment then it has to come out of their own pockets.

The process can be expensive and spending money on something that does not give you pain anymore for some seems like a waste of money and is not important enough.

The lesson here is to spend time in the short to medium term to fully treat the source of pain then maintain what you have and minimise the risk of a reoccurrence of the injury, back in pain and unable to enjoy the quality of life you require!

Connect with Expert Henry Van der Walt.

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