Wednesday, 30 January 2013



Rehabilitation involves the prescription of specific stretching, strength, stability and proprioception (balance) exercises, to promote full healing from injury and to help avoid further injuries in the future.

It needs to be specific to the individual and must encompass their goals and requirements for returning to normal full function, whether that is going back to work, playing with the kids or taking part in sport at an amateur or professional level.

Often after injury if insufficient rehabilitation is undertaken the body will compensate for the loss of strength or flexibility that occurs, and underlying issues such as muscle tightness or imbalance will remain. These compensations may lead to re-injury at the initial site or secondary problems in other areas of the body.

It is important to remember that to provide the appropriate level of safe rehabilitation, a practitioner must have a solid understanding of the underlying mechanisms of injury, the anatomy, physiology and biomechanics of the body and the healing processes that occur during recovery.

Our Osteopath Dawn will examine and treat the body from a global and holistic perspective; this enables her to identify possible imbalances, which may occur due to injury. In addition she has extensive training and experience of rehabilitation exercise prescription for sports and spinal injuries.

You will often be prescribed some basic rehabilitation exercises during the early phases of your treatment and these may be sufficient depending on the condition. However it is sometimes necessary to continue and progress these exercises, even after you are symptom free.

Depending on your goals you may require sports specific rehabilitation drills with the idea being that when you return to your chosen activity your body is better conditioned than prior to the injury.
Examples of the rehabilitation programs we provide include:

  • Post knee surgery- meniscus and ligament repair (including ACL)
  • Post ankle ligament injury
  • Post spinal disc injury (bulging or prolapsed disc) or spinal surgery
  • Spinal joint/muscle injury
  • Post shoulder joint surgery (e.g. for rotator cuff tear)
  • Post abdominal hernia surgery
  • Rehabilitation following any ligament or muscle injury (e.g. hamstring, calf or shoulder muscle strain)
Sometimes the period of rehabilitation is relatively short or it may last for several months depending on the severity of the problem, for instance rehabilitation following anterior-cruciate ligament surgery can be up 6-9 months.

Dealing with Sports Injuries

Sports Injury Clinic

Sporting injuries can often be due to sudden trauma, such as ankle sprains, muscle tears, hyper-extension injuries, groin strains, or muscle injuries from impact or clashes on the pitch.

In all these cases it is crucial to treat the injury immediately to control swelling and bruising/bleeding, to protect the injury from further damage, and then to promote healing to allow a full return to sport as quickly as possible.

What to Do if You Have Received a Sports Injury

Treat your injury yourself as soon as you can. Follow the R.I.C.E protocol.

Rest – stop doing the activities that hurt! It can be helpful to move the injured part gently, but no over stretching, no painful activities. This helps to ensure you don’t make the injury worse.

Ice – Applying an ice pack can drastically reduce the bleeding and swelling in the injured area. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a damp cloth for 15 minutes every hour.

Compression – A firm elastic bandage will reduce and control swelling, and give the injury support.
Elevation – To prevent swelling pooling at the site of injury, elevate the injury above the level of your heart. This aids circulation and prevents a tight swelling, which can slow down healing and recovery.

Perform RICE as soon as you can. It is advisable for most injuries to keep this going for 72 hours.