Preparation equals Prehab, the injury free solution to completing events such as the women’s mini Marathon
So what exactly is Prehab and why is it so important?
Prehabilitation is the preparation athletes make to try to prevent the injury from happening in the first place. This ideology is common place in professional and nonprofessional sports around the world. The concept of preventing injury allows professional and nonprofessional athletes alike to participate in their sporting endeavours with a reduced risk of injury.
Both the financial cost and time invested in prehabilitation is minute in comparison to long recovery / rehabilitation periods post injury. Ironically this concept is relatively unknown amongst our recreational athletes and everyday population, although it is this population which may benefit the most from this approach.
Whilst working with both club and intercounty GAA teams I often hear the jibe from ex intercounty stars towards injured players that “we didn’t have hamstring injuries in our day”. This however isn’t true but these injuries were much less prevalent due to a couple of key facts. Firstly training / game intensity was much lower from a fitness point of view and secondly and most importantly the general population in years gone by worked in much more physically demanding industries.
You may be asking why is this relevant? Simply because we are currently living a sedentary lifestyle for 95% of our days with high levels of stress and poor nutritional awareness and understanding. Therefore, we are much more likely to develop lifestyle related injuries, work place dysfunctions and health concerns.
Prehabilitation may be a part of the answer for both our aspiring amateur athletes and for the everyday worker who sits in front of the steering wheel, computer screen and TV for a large percentage of their day.
Prehab is a preventative maintenance approach that will keep us healthier, stronger, fitter and more functionally active for longer. Although a prehabilitative approach is appropriate for everyone the exact way it is comprised will be individual for each and every patient. It will depend on factors such as goals, lifestyle, medical history, age and basic needs.
A Preventative Approach
At Platinum Physiotherapy, we encourage a preventative approach for all our patients and Pilates clients alike. Our approach is pre-emptive in nature addressing both our lifestyle related imbalance and underlying dysfunctions, before they have a direct impact on our everyday life and our participation in events such as the women’s mini marathon.
The approach encourages regular monitoring and advancement in your exercise programmes making sure your exercises are effective, sustainable and safe thus minimising future injury and the associated financial and psychological costs of rehabilitation.
“Is it not a little late if you are competing in the mini marathon next weekend?”.
The answer is, certainly not. A lot of injury is picked up during such events and as you are now in preparation mode why not give yourself every chance of completing the mini marathon injury free.
There is also another large percentage of participants that are competing in the mini marathon as part of their preparation for other international and national half and full marathons over the coming months. Every year, unfortunately I need to confirm people’s worst fears in the lead up to major events such as the Dublin marathon.
People consistently try and avoid physiotherapy advise and education before completing such events and invariably begin to break down between the 12 and 16-miles as they have not strengthened or improved their mobility sufficiently to allow their bodies to cope with the training load being inflicted upon it.
As a physiotherapist, it is very disappointing to inform a patient that their gradually occurring tendinopathy has now become so severe that they will be unable to complete the necessary mileage in time for them to complete the marathon. The simple truth is the vast majority of these injuries can be prevented with an appropriate exercise programme or with earlier physiotherapeutic intervention after the symptoms have begun.
Please do not find yourself in this situation. Book a prehabilitation assessment and prevent the mental and physical torment of long term injury.
Get in touch with us for more information on a prehabilitation assessment.
Ben Doyle is a Specialist Neuromusculoskeletal Chartered Physiotherapist & Clinical Lead at Platinum Physiotherapy.