The Rise of ‘Prehabilitation’ in Physiotherapy
Traditionally, people have often visited physiotherapists to treat pain they experience as a result of injuries. Many are unaware, however, that physiotherapists offer broad medical expertise and can provide a wide range of services, including preventative care. PCA promotes a comprehensive approach to care that aims to improve patients’ overall wellness by addressing current issues, identifying potential health problems and guiding patients on prevention.
In an effort to shift the physiotherapy industry away from its tradition of providing primarily reactive care, we offer a variety of prevention-focused “prehabilitation” services, including thorough evaluations to identify specific health issues that patients are likely to develop over time. We have the ability to identify deficiencies throughout the body. Serving to identify potential sources of future injury, we assess an individual’s movement, balance, function, general health and recovery.
This examination serves as a key tool in identifying an individual’s total body strength, balance, movement and posture so providers can identify health issues that might worsen as a result of factors such as age or incorrect exercise form. Balance disorders that can progress with age and potentially lead to dangerous falls serve as key examples of issues that might initially go unnoticed by patients.
In addition to identifying potential balance issues, ou unique consultations offer valuable information that physiotherapists can apply toward helping patients safely reach their wellness goals, such as losing weight, engaging in athletic competitions or recovering from injuries. We will use the results to design medically-based exercise plans for patients.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are injured playing a sport or undertaking recreational activities. But what if you could gaze into a crystal ball and predict and prevent injuries before they happen?
A sports physiotherapy assessment and a prehabilitation plan could keep you on your feet and injury free. We recognise the same risk factors again and again for sports and fitness injuries, but usually, by the time the patient sees a physio, it’s too late.
Physiotherapists can identify the risks and offer ‘prehabilitation’ – corrective training to amend problems before an injury happens. Even if you feel like you’re in top shape, an injury might not be far away.
It’s not so different from going to a dentist or doctor for regular checkups. Everyone has their own set of particular weaknesses, inflexibilities and incorrect biomechanics. A PCA physiotherapist will assess your posture, core stability, muscle strength, flexibility, joint alignment and mobility and incorrect movement patterns.
Prehabilitation would be useful for those who are new to exercises, planning to intensify their exercise routine, or returning to exercise following illness or pregnancy. Your physiotherapist will take into account your lifestyle and daily activities to help safeguard your body. Studies have found that prehabilitation programs help prevent serious injuries in soccer players, knee injuries in court sports players, and hamstring injuries too.
Lastly, prehabilitation is a crucial and often overlooked step in the process of having a surgery. Most surgeries are performed first and the patient receives physio afterward, but research has shown that surgeries have better outcomes, faster recovery times and less painful recovery processes when physio is done for some time before the surgery as well.
Prevention really is the best medicine. Sports injuries are extremely detrimental to your physical ability, mental health and quality of life. A simple checkup with a PCA physiotherapist can help you improve your performance and prevent serious, long-term damage.’
If you require further advice on how to exercise safely with an existing injury or medical condition, if you need help creating a prehabilitation plan or if you’re preparing to undergo a surgery, please seek the advice of one of our physios by calling 0813 028 0496.