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Why Prehabilitation is Important Before an Exercise

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Our everyday life is sedentary. Muscles and joints are normally in a single position for long durations of time. Hunching over the computer has become an ever-increasing phenomenon. We rarely maintain the right posture and end up with a lifestyle where our bodies are not really doing what they are evolutionarily supposed to do. We have moved on from hunter-gatherers to food-at-your-click.com in less than a blink of history! The body has not exactly adapted, so when we remain slouching long hours or sitting in an immobile condition, some major damage is being done. If we face a sudden physical activity—say, you decide to play a game suddenly—the body is not ready. Stiff joints have a limited range of motion; a sudden jolt wakes them up. The joint thushas lesser motion, to compensate for the stiffness. An elbow joint compensates for stiff shoulders, leading to an increased burden on the wrist as well.  Prehabilitation before diving right into the game can help prevent these compensations to progress to injuries.

 

What is prehabilitation?
Prehabilitation strategies are steps that are taken before an exercise or a strenuous physical activity routine in order to prevent injuries. It is like stocking up ration before a curfew: preparing for an injury before its occurrence. It is a proactive approach and begins with a risk assessment, which involves analysing an uninjured patient’s posture, joint alignment, flexibility, muscle control, biomechanics, core stability and movement patterns. Understanding these enables a physiotherapist to calculate the risk of an injury to a particular joint. The vulnerable areas are stressed upon. Strength training exercises are conductedin order to help build strength and stability around the most vulnerable areas, also improving mobility, balance, and joint function and decreasing the risk of injuries.

 

Most injuries occur in the rotator cuff and the elbow joint. Prehabillitation targets training of the muscles surrounding these vulnerable joints to prevent injuries sustained from repeated wear and exertion. It targets the central area of the body:the hips, the core, and the shoulders. Working on these pillars of strength will not only allow the joints to move more efficiently, but also improve body posture and alignment. It is the most efficient way to strengthen the most injury-prone areas before you’re struck with chronic aches and pain. Repetitive movements and everyday stresses of gym training also have anegative impact on the body. These changes start becoming more evident when a person matures. Prehab offers limited training techniques that cause tightness of muscle groups and balance of strength and enhance coordination or muscle stabilisation.

 

Prehabilitation should form a part of your everyday exercise routine as it helps in the following:

  1. Achieving a normal posture
  2. Correcting muscle length imbalance
  3. Improving joint alignment and flexibility
  4. Normalising core stability
  5. Enhancing muscle endurance, strength, and power
  6. Boosting movement pattern efficiency
  7. Enhancing the body's ability to sense orientation

A physiotherapist will guide you to what are the best prehabilitation exercises for your body type and lifestyle so that you can avert unexpected sprains and injuries for good while you enjoy life!

 

Written By - 

Padma Lekhi