What does Rehabilitation actually mean? For some people it may mean post-injury or surgery, for others it may mean heart break or emotional challenges. For me, its simple, it means recovery and prevention. The word rehabilitation is stemmed from the Latin prefix meaning “make fit”. It is a complex word with many layers of meaning.
For a lot of people, rehabilitation is what you do after an injury, to get the tissue or joint strong again. For me I’m a big believer in rehabilitation in everyday life to prevent serious injuries from occurring.
I have worked with athletes for many years, in particular amateur AFL, and what I noticed in my time was the high incidence of hamstring tightness coinciding with lower back pain. Players would ask for massages on their hamstrings and lower backs week in week out as a form of management to play the games. This alone was not the solution, because tearing a hamstring during a social game of Aussie Rules doesn’t just mean 3-4 weeks out of the game, it means time off work, time spent resting instead of being active, not to mention financial burden.
I took this observation on board when developing my pre-habilitation programs, which focused on increasing the flexibility of hamstrings and decreasing their demand by strengthening the gluteal muscles to assist in power movements. Over the weeks, I noticed that the players who partook in the program were not only able to touch their toes while standing, but had decreased pain in their hamstrings and lower back due to increased strength of their gluteals.
There is a lesson to be learnt here, that prevention is better than a cure. By performing preventative rehabilitation once a week as a part of an exercise routine, pain can be decreased and strength can be increased, meaning less time spent on the treatment table, and more time doing the things that you love!
Live well. Live an Optimum Life.
Dr. Ashton Wilson Osteopath is now treating at Optimum Wellbeing | Gold Coast | 07 5530 7921 for bookings