The development of sports injury medicine has seen a number of interventions over the years to reduce the risk of sports injury. Amongst these the latest tool is prehabilittation. The concept of prehabilitation and its key to success is medical intervention away from game time or sports activity. Its origins start at the development stages i.e. through pre season or post activity. Its objection is to reduce the risk of sports injury with being proactive.
What is Prehabilitation?
Prehabilitation is a form of exercise rehabilitation used to indicate high risk area of sports injury within the musculoskeletal system through biomechanical assessment and using strength and conditioning to reduce the risk of sports injury. A biomechanical assessment uses specific movement of the musculoskeletal system to indicate weaknesses. For example an individual who squats and has his or her knees come together at the lowering phase may indicate a weakness of the gluteus medius which puts them at higher risk of sacroiliac lower back injury or medial collateral ligament injury of the knee. This weakness can be treated and the risk of such sport injury reduced by the strengthening of the gluteus medius muscle using exercise rehabilitation.
Can Prehabilitation Be Effective In Sport?
Prehabilitation can be adapted to any musculoskeletal movement and so can be effective within sport to prevent sports injury. The movement to be assessed can be of any sport and sports position. For example a prop in rugby when in the scrum, we could use biomechanical assessment to pre determine any musculoskeletal weaknesses. If a prop had restricted flexion of the hamstrings he or she would not be able to get low enough to be activating their full strength and biomechanical mass in a scrum. Not only this but they would place themselves at greater risk of ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) injury or lower back injury. With prehabilitation we would concentrate on increasing the flexibility in the hamstrings using exercise rehabilitation before a sports injury occurred.
Can Prehabilitation Be Effective With Occupational Injury?
The flexibility of prehabilitation makes it transferable to any musculoskeletal injury assessment. For individuals who may not play or participate in sport, his or her occupation may place them at higher risk of certain occupational injuries. An example of this would be a typical office worker working 8 hours a day 5 days a week behind a desk at a computer. Having the body in one position for a long duration of time in this case the seated position can cause a shortening of the hip flexors and quadriceps leading to a muscular imbalance and lower back injury and pain. A biomechanical assessment would indicate this and the potential for occupational injury diminished by using exercise rehabilitation to lengthen the hip flexor muscles.
Conclusion What Do We at Queens Road Sports Injury Suggest?
When it concerns sports injury in any sport being proactive rather than reactive is best practice. In this case spending time to prevent a sports injury is far better than having to miss games or events whilst being treated for sports injury. We at Queens Road Sports Injury would advice all individuals and teams in any sport to be assessed using biomechanical assessment to prevent sports injuries in the future.