What Is Functional Rehabilitation?
At Sports and spine rehabilitation Center, we believe that restoring optimal function is the most important component in eliminating pain and preventing injury.
An injury will usually occur after the body has undergone an undue trauma, incorrect movement or a repetitive stress. It is important to understand the entire body needs to move through a full range of motion. This is of the utmost importance when it comes to an athlete. For example, if a tennis player loses range of motion in their hip, they will require more range of motion to come from their shoulder. Because of this repetitive stress, it leads to an overload of the rotator cuff and the tendons in the elbow. Until the hip is addressed, the patient will continually re-injure their shoulder and elbow.
After a patient’s functional movement has been assessed, a proper diagnosis can be made and an exercise program specific to their needs and ability can be created. This specialized exercise program is meant to re-establish proper strength in specific muscles and appropriate flexibility in others. Establishing proper joint motion allows us to actually teach people how to move correctly and thereby prevent injury.
It is important that the body is exercised in a functional manner in order to build appropriate muscle as well as joint strength and flexibility. This ensures that the nervous system is working properly and using all parts of the body in the appropriate manner with the correct muscles firing at the right time.
Each patient’s exercise routine is progressively adjusted to meet their ever changing needs and their condition. Functional rehabilitation is vital to ensure that a patient maintains optimal function which greatly reduces the re-occurrence of injury.
Our therapy approach is active and functional. Research has shown that patients with pain improve faster with increased activity. As stated, this movement should be prescribed individually, whereas “one exercise fits all” is not usually effective. Additionally, scientific studies also show that exercise is often more effective and lasting when combined with manual therapy.
Exercise specificity also is very important with sports injuries. In other words, the exercise program should be specific for the person, the type of injury and the sport they wish to begin playing. It should not be because the therapist has a list of exercises and machines they like to use with all their patients. A middle-aged mom is not going to get the same routine as a professional hockey player.