It’s no secret that injuries can sideline our enjoyment of life, but what might be surprising is that many of these injuries are preventable. Edinburgh Sports Injury Clinic offers prehabilitation (prehab) as a way to reduce your risk of injury.
Prehab is a preventative measure that focuses on strengthening and stabilizing the muscles around the joints. This outpatient service can help you stay active and pain-free throughout your season. It’s important to note that prehab isn’t a replacement for rehab; rather, it’s an additional layer of protection against injury.
If you’re considering prehab, we encourage you to book an appointment with one of our specialists today. We’ll assess your needs and create a program tailored to your specific sport or activity.
Why Is Prehab Important?
Prehab – or preventative rehabilitation – is important for two main reasons: time and money. You can think of prehab as insurance against future injury. It costs less to do a few preventative sessions than it does to see your GP, go to physiotherapy and, in some cases, have surgery.
Prehab can also reduce the risk of major injuries. If you’re playing sport regularly, you’re more likely to experience niggles and “knocks” throughout a season. Doing prehab exercises now will mean you spend less time rehabbing in the future. In fact, you might not even experience any injuries at all!
What Type of Exercises Should Be Done for Prehab?
The best exercises for prehab are ones that target the muscles and joints that are commonly injured. For example, squats and lunges work the hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes, which are prone to strains and tears. Pilates can help to strengthen the core muscles, which can help to prevent back injuries.
If you’re not sure which exercises to do, or if you have a specific injury that you’d like to target, it’s always best to speak to a professional. A personal trainer or physiotherapist will be able to create a tailored program that will help reduce your risk of injury.
What Are the Benefits of Prehab?
The benefits of prehab include strengthening the body, reducing the risk of injury, improving performance, and enhancing your recovery. All of these benefits can contribute to you staying healthy and having the best sports season possible.
Strengthening the root cause of an injury is essential in preventing it from recurring. The exercises included in prehab focus on these muscles, so that when you start your training sessions or competition, you’ll have better form, less pain and more strength. This is especially important for athletes who have had previous injuries – prehab can help make sure those same injuries don’t happen again.
Prehab can also reduce your risk of major injuries by giving you a comprehensive warm-up and routine stretching before strenuous activities. It can also help with injury prevention during recovery periods, when we tend to go too hard and too soon after an injury. Finally, prehab can improve physical performance – strength in key areas like hips and glutes will help with overall mobility and agility – all while safely decreasing the chances that you’ll get injured!
How to Get Started With Prehab?
So how can you get started with prehab? It’s really not that complicated – all you need is to be consistent and invest some time. Start by searching for exercises specific to the activity you are involved in. For instance, if you are a runner you should do exercises specifically designed to strengthen your legs, core and upper body.
Next, develop a prehab routine that fits into your schedule. You don’t have to invest large amounts of time – just 10-15 minutes a day can make a huge difference over time. You can also alternate between different exercise categories (e.g., strengthening and stretching) or do an all-in-one routine on certain days of the week.
Another important note is to build up gradually – starting slowly and then increasing the duration/frequency of exercises over weeks and months as needed. And finally, don’t forget to think about recovery as well – make sure you stay hydrated, implement stretching sessions into your routine, and use ice/heat packs when necessary.
Tips for Success With Prehab
So how can you make the most of prehab and reduce your risk of injury? Here are a few tips for success:
- Focus on technique. Poor technique is often the cause of an injury so if you are going to do exercises, make sure that your form is correct. If you’re unsure, ask a professional or use videos as guides.
- Warm up and cool down properly. Don’t skip these steps! Warming up helps increase blood flow and reduce risk of injury whereas cooling down helps to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness.
- Listen to your body. Don’t push yourself too hard – if something causes pain, stop and seek advice from a healthcare professional.
- Be consistent with prehab exercises – it won’t help if you do them once or twice then forget about them. Schedule in prehab exercises into your routine and stick to it!
- Get assessed by a professional healthcare provider, who can guide you as to what types of exercise will best suit you, depending on your strength, skill level, and physical condition.
Prehab is an essential step in injury prevention if you are an athlete or lead an active lifestyle. Edinburgh Sports Injury Clinic provides prehab services to help you stay healthy and on the playing field. Taking a little time now to do preventative exercises can save you time and money in the future.