3 Keys to Rehab Success

3 Key Principles to Rehab Success

The bridge to success
The bridge to rehab success!

 

This article will discuss 3 important concepts when it comes to success in your rehab: Progressive loading, pacing your rehab and meaningful goal setting.

1. Progressive loading for improved tissue tolerance

This is a simple but very important concept to grasp. Tissues in your body respond to stress i.e. bones respond to load and strengthen the periosteum (outer layer of bone), muscles grow in size under weights training due to increased load. Tissues that have been injured can only handle reduce loads to begin with, but it is very important to progressively load the tissue to help it regain its ability to tolerate higher loads

However the key is like most things in life is moderation.. not over doing it … or undoing it, its like finding the sweetspot on your surfboard too far forward and you nosedive, too far back and you’ve got to paddle harder against the increased resistance.

Below is a diagram that shows how nomal tissue responds to load, how injured tissue responds to load (reduced ability to tolerate load) and tissue after rehab (increased ability ro tolerate load).

Light blue (1) is under load, tissues not receiving enough load. Medium blue (2) more load stimulates maintenance of tissue and The Dark Blue (3) is the “sweet spot”of optimal loading for tissue development. Pink way too much! (4-5).[pullquote align=center]

Key Rehab Principle Number 1: Loading optimally will help stimulate tissue healing, but too much or too little is detrimental to your success.

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Optimal loading

Light blue (1) is under load, tissues not receiving enough load. Medium blue (2) more load stimulates maintenance of tissue and The Dark Blue (3) is the “sweet spot”of optimal loading for tissue development. Pink way too much! (4-5).

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Key Rehab Principle Number 1: Loading optimally will help stimulate tissue healing, but too much or too little is detrimental to your success.

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2. No pain = No gain, right? Incorrect, pacing yourself is better

Although I love to to see people with determination and grit, people that push themselves too hard without the ability of the tissues to tolerate load are destined to have flare ups.

Pain and determination
Pain and determination

So if its feeling great, don’t go too hard to soon. Start at 30-50% of what you used to do for training and build back up. I.e. if you run for keeping fit and normally you would run for 30-45mins duration then as an example start out with a low intensity 10min jog, slowly build up to 15mins by the end of the week if tolerated, or try jog-walk-jog choose a distance you feel comfortable with say jog for 3 lampposts walk for 2, then jog again for 3. If its upper body you do 20 pushups normally, start with as many as you can tolerate say 3 sets x 5 reps and progress from there.

If an exercise is making your pain worse stop it, either modify your technique or position or scrap it and swap it to another exercise that puts less stress on the tissue. (Discuss with a local physiotherapist, personal trainer in your area who can guide you to an exercise more suitable)

Also take notice of how you feel later that day, that night and the next day. Obviously there will be some post exercise discomfort in the muscles and you can also have pain to begin with as the tissues get used to the loading. So if you are sore from pushing too hard too soon, then do a really light session with unweighted or low load movements to help with active recovery.

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Key Rehab Principle Number 2: Learn to pace yourself by starting at reduced effort and build back up.

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3. What do you want to achieve with your rehab?

Purpose. Direction. Achievement. Success. Reward.

Goals can sometimes be tricky to set, people often tell me “I want to get better and have no pain” and obviously “I want to get back in the water and surf again” is another important one. The reality is a goal has to be meaningful to you, it has to be what you want to achieve what will drive you to succeed, it may be “I want to be able to run around with my kids in the backyard” or it may be” I want to charge bigger waves” or “noseride 2 foot peelers”

MEANINGful Goals
MEANINGful Goals

 

If you like you can be more specific with timeframes but this is up to you

I.e if its a knee injury it might look something like this:

I want to be able to hop 30 times on my injured leg and have no pain in 2 weeks

I want to be able to walk 15 minutes with no pain in 2 weeks

I want to be able to pop up to my feet in one movement in 1 month

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Key Rehab Principle Number 3: Set meaningful goals for the short term and long term for you to have success

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Claim Success

The end of the bridge is success! 2 guys dropped in on this guy, he doesn’t give up instead he pushes them off and ends the wave still standing with this awesome claim.

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