What is Prehabilitation?
To help prevent injuries, sports physiotherapists have begun to employ what they call “prehabilitation” strategies.
Prehabilitation is essentially preventive injury risk assessment and training to prevent the problem before it happens.
3 Phases of Prehabilitation
The three phases needed to come up with a good prehabilitation plan are:
- Analyzing an uninjured player’s posture, joint alignment, flexibility, muscle control, biomechanics, core stability and movement patterns,
- Understanding the risks of the sport itself, and
- Considering other specifics such as the player’s position.
Following these three steps, your sports physiotherapist can better predict injury risk. They can then develop specific training programs to help you prevent common overuse and other sports injuries.
What Exercises are Best?
Prehabilitation exercises and techniques are sports-specific. They can even be athlete-specific, as they highlight the predominant muscle movement patterns present in the position they play sport. A goalkeeper for example will have different athletic requirements to a field player.
Prehabilitation helps you to:
- achieve normal static and dynamic posture
- correct muscle length imbalance, joint alignment and flexibility
- normalise core stability (upper, lower and left vs right)
- enhance muscle endurance, strength and power
- boost movement pattern efficiency; and
- enhance proprioception, which is the ability for your mind to sense the position of different joints in relation to the rest of the body.
Obviously, the prehabilitation approach for each sport and positions (eg defender vs attacker) within those sports will differ. That’s why it is important to seek the advice of a sports physiotherapist with an interest in your sport.
How to Arrange Pre-Injury Screening
If you are interested in either individual, team or club sports-screening or prehabilitation programs please contact PhysioWorks today. You’ll benefit from improved performance and a lower injury rate. PhysioWorks offers club, school, team and individual pre-injury screening, injury risk profiling and injury-prevention strategies.