In the advanced age, physical rehabilitation after any sports injury or even any musculoskeletal injury has become a domain for specialists, and its evolution has necessarily developed a whole new concept in the field of healthcare, rehabilitation and fitness. Physical therapy and rehabilitation after an injury has provided with embarking results and success to the patients. However, recent studies suggested that majority of the injuries occurring due to any physical activity or gym workout or sports are preventable. But how can they be prevented? That’s where the new emerging concept of ‘PREHAB’ goes with the saying, “Prevention is better than the cure”.
PREHAB! It is a simple term for preventive rehabilitation. That means to start working not at the time of an event or tournament but since the beginning of any sports event or pre game season. In the prehab training, all the aspects directed to the sport or an event are emphasised that includes specific elements like strength training, regular stretching exercises and most importantly sports specific drills. The PREHAB training protocol needs to be individually tailored and designed taking into consideration your physical capacity, as every sport has its own demands.
An expert Physiotherapist with in depth knowledge of body and sports science can design a tailor-made exercise program after thorough physical assessment. The aim of the prehab program is to strengthen weak muscles, improve flexibility of the tight muscles, and correct sports specific postures. This will help you cope up with challenges of the sports, thus enhancing your performance. The improved strength helps you to withstand the sports demands and increased flexibility reduces risk of sprains and strains. Lastly, the specific sports drills train your brain and body to anticipate any possible injury that might happen. This mechanism of anticipation is known as feed-forward mechanism and is the best way to prevent injuries.
Generally, physical rehabilitation time period may vary from 3 weeks to 9 months depending on injury or severity or demenads of particular activity. However, there is no such time frame for PREHAB and should be continued throughout the training. Lastly, make sure that your prehab regime is regularly monitored and reviewed. It needs to be progressed from time to time as your strength, flexibility, endurance and feed-forward mechanism improves.
Thus, we wish you all an injury free season or event. Do not skip or neglect prehab training for your better performance.
-Arohi D, Purva G, Sumit J and Devyani T (Physio Team)
Advisor: Dr. Parag Ranade (PT)