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What is Rehab?

Posted By Melanie Roberts  
09:00 AM

Rehabilitation is basically the act of correcting dysfunction that is causing pain or restriction of range.  It is important to correct this dysfunction to gain a long term response to your treatment.   If you are merely treating the symptoms of pain or stiffness then this will return once you stop the treatment.  It may mean a series of corrective exercises to target the deep neck flexors in someone with neck pain or the “core” muscles in someone with lower back pain or stiffness.  It may be to correct the technique of weight training and give more appropriate exercises in someone with shoulder pain. The important thing about rehabilitation exercises is that they are progressive.  Firstly, you must get the activation of the muscle, perhaps in isolation such as with the deep neck flexors, not bringing in the large neck muscles on the outside, then, you need to learn to turn the muscle on in more difficult situations and for longer periods of time.  It may be strength or endurance you are looking for, depending on the type of muscle and its function.  You then need to make sure the muscle is turning on functionally.  It is great to have the muscle activate lying on a bed but does it work when you go running?  All of these exercises and the postural correction and joint range of motion exercises should all form part of your rehabilitation with a physiotherapist.