To recover from an injury or from a chronic neuro-musculoskeletal condition, it is necessary to first have the problem treated (passive component) and subsequently to exercise it (active component).
The active component consists of three stages:
Proprioception:The body's ability to sense position and movement, which is important for balance. The sensory receptors for this are mainly in the muscles, tendons and in the labyrinth of the ear. With neuro-musculoskeletal injuries these receptors are affected and they need retraining to function optimally.
Try standing on one foot, and then close your eyes; now you have to rely on these receptors. If you have any old injuries that were not properly rehabilitated, for example in your ankles or knees, you will find it hard to balance without the help of your vision. This is just one example of a proprioceptive exercise - there are many.
Flexibility: One of your body's first reactions to injury is muscle spasm around the area of injury; this is called protective splinting. In chronic injurie,s the injury may have healed, but the protective splinting often persists. It is important to identify these areas of shortened tissue and to stretch them out.
Strength: Chronic conditions are usually associated with loss of strength due to guarding and lack of use of the painful area. It is important to identify these weak areas and strengthen them to prevent future re-injury and ensure optimal function. Care must be taken to perform the appropriate level of strengthening for each individual.
We recommend programs tailored to the individual, providing balanced rehabilitation in all three phases.