Patients come in to our clinic looking first and foremost for manual therapy. This is where our team really shines, and practical, hands-on treatment is the first love of all our practitioners.
However, once a patient is out of pain, how can we ensure the problem doesn’t occur again?
This is where rehabilitation exercises come in. We’re really lucky at Coleshill Street to have our dedicated Personal Training Studio to borrow from Ebrook Fitness when we need to show patients some more complicated moves!
Rehab programmes are designed with each individual patient in mind, but here are some basic ground rules we use when constructing them…
Stretch and Mobilise
The first step is to get the patient comfortably moving and mobilising the painful body part again. Gentle static stretching, dynamic stretching and mobility drills all live in this category. None of this should be painful, although it may be uncomfortable for acute patients in the first instance.
Engage Muscles and the Brain
There is a connection between the brain and each muscle of the body, which practitioners call the Neuro-muscular pathway. I like to explain it like a track in the forest, where if you don’t tread it often enough, the plants will grow over it, and you won’t be able to find it as easily in the future.
Sometimes injuries happen, or pain doesn’t go away because we can’t engage the correct muscles to perform a certain activity well. Therefore, the next step on a rehab programme is to get the patient to learn to engage lazy muscles; often off weight bearing, but certainly without additional weight.
Adding a challenge…
Now the area is mobilised and activated, it’s time to add resistance! Resistance bands, weights, repetitions – any way to challenge the endurance and form of a particular action is the next progression in a rehab programme. Dynamic compound movements, balance challenges and plyometric movements are further progressions still for patients looking for a higher level of function and injury prevention.