The approach to treatment and rehabilitation is changing and for the better. Gone are the days (going anyway) of just treating the pain and symptoms. So what is rehab and how approaching it with a holistic point of view is the better way to go?
Short Term – Not the Best Approach to Rehab
Just treating the pain and symptoms approach leads to:
- Short term outcomes: Pain relief, symptom relief (muscle spasm etc) and you feeling better in the short term.
- Flare ups and frustration: The pain keeps coming back after these quick fixes.
- More money spent in the long-term,
- More frustration and decreased quality of life.
The reason the quick fix approach doesn’t work for a lot of people is because the cause is not being addressed.
The reason behind the pain and injury isn’t being rehabilitated.
Couple of Case Studies
When an injury or pain occurs, you need to look above and below the area to find the contributing and causative factors.
An office worker gets regular headaches that stops them doing what they love, playing on their mind and being very, very frustrating.
They have had their neck treated in various ways – acupuncture, massage, trigger point release, joint mobilizations etc.
All of these offer release – but they keep coming back!
This rounded spine pushes the head forward in a less than ideal position as you can see in the image to the right.
This forward head position, one closes down the joint at the base of the skull.
Also, every centimeter that the head is forward makes the neck muscles work four times harder!
This will definitely cause muscle knots and stiff joints at the base of your skull AND headaches.
Runner – Occasional or Regular
Another common example that will ring true with a lot of people, particularly runners, is anterior knee pain (Patello-femoral pain).
Anterior knee pain is one of the most common running injuries and the pain happens because the knee cap doe not glide in its grove correctly.
This is due to increased tension in your quads (particularly the outer quads) – pulling the knee cap laterally (to the outside) causing pain, inflammation and further muscle tension as it grinds in the wrong place.
Studies have shown that runners with PFPS have weak hip abductors and external rotators.
This is a huge contributing factor as if these muscle are weak the knee is not controlled, in turns inwards, changing the tracking and position of the knee.
So the knee can be treated, taped, dry-needled and exercises etc as much as you like but of hip strength and endurance isn’t improved then this will hang around and really frustrate.
What is Rehabilitation?
Very simply put, rehab is care to increase your quality of life when you are in pain resulting from injury or ailment, advance age or any other causes.
It is a process of focusing on increasing your mobility, strength, range of motion etc.
Giving you self reliance and a path to recovery as you improve overall function of body.
Holistic Approach to Rehab
Human Body is an Amazing Machine
The body is full of synergies, with different muscles and tissues working together to move everything in unison, it really is an awesome machine.
But this is why when one thing goes wrong – multiple other areas can be affected.
Other areas help out and work hard to compensate, some parts get more stress through them, leading to pain and discomfort, that may not be where the problem is!
Rehab for the Whole Body
This is why you need to rehab with your eyes and mind open and not just focus on quick fix of pain and immediate symptoms.
If you have:
- Shoulder pain – Check your thoracic spine and shoulder-blade position.
- Knee or shin pain – Check your hips
- Foot pain such as Plantar fasciitis – Check you calf and hamstring length
- And much more!
Look at your body holistically. Don’t just focus on the pain and getting a quick fix.
Health care is changing; less pills, less anti-inflammatories, healthy food and less steroid injections.
Become aware of your body and improve it for the long-term.
Here at Physioprescription we aim just to do that. Help you get and feel amazing by giving you the tools, info and exercises necessary to live a happier, healthier and fulfilling life!
Please share, like and let me know how you get on!