What is your favourite season? Many people say autumn because weather is dry and mild, and radiant colours appear throughout nature. Less people seem enthusiastic about winter, except for carollers who sing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
Winter months can be enjoyable, but with this season comes new routines, many of which require physical exertion. In particular, shovelling snow can cause strain on muscles, bones, and joints, if you’re unprepared. Oftentimes, we accept these risks as pitfalls of the season. But what if there was a way to eliminate or reduce this type of risk? If you’ve asked yourself the same question, preventative physiotherapy may be your answer.
But wait – physiotherapy is what you do to recover from injuries, right? Physiotherapy is commonly known to naturally alleviate physical pain and help people regain full body function post injury. But physiotherapy is not only rehabilitative; it is highly effective for people who want to take preventative measures to protect their bodies and prepare them for what’s to come. Prehabilitation treatment can benefit every single person of all ages, especially as we head into physically intense seasons.
What is Prehabilitation Physiotherapy?
Functional Movement Screening is one of our assessment tools used to identify risk factors that threaten musculoskeletal health. Just as there are risk factors that can be corrected in other areas of general and dental health, there are risk factors that can be identified by physiotherapists that can be adjusted to prevent common issues such as runner’s knee, shoulder impingement, repetitive strain and lower back injuries. All of these conditions are preventable if risk factors are identified early.
Functional Movement Screening, for example, uses a checklist of physiotherapy assessments to determine if patients need to undergo treatment to correct risk factors before an injury occurs. There are several areas physiotherapists assess when conducting Functional Movement Screenings.
- Posture – Bad posture causes injury and incites pain while good posture may be able to eliminate physical discomfort and lessen your risk of suffering injury.
- Movement Screening – Some body movements feel right but actually wreak havoc on your knees and hips. It is important to be aware of habits that wear down your body so that you can correct these tendencies.
- Muscle Weakness – Not all bodies are the same, yet we often follow similar workout routines. As a result, you might be working out weak muscles without knowing it. A physiotherapist can offer the right workouts for your unique composition.
- Flexibility (or inflexibility) – If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it one thousand times: warm up before engaging in physical activity. The warm up stretches may be a major tool in rehabilitation and injury prevention.
All too often, we are aware of our “bad posture” or “inflexibility” but we don’t consider seeking physiotherapy to correct these problem areas. Instead, we often let bad habits continue until injury occurs and pain develops. Thankfully, it is possible to live a pain-free life that is void of injury and low on risk. Seeing a physiotherapist for prehabilitation can reduce your risk of injury to help you remain free from aches and pains for years to come.
If you’ve never had a prehabilitation screening, now is the best time. Knowing your body well will allow you to approach seasonal routines with the gusto you need, without the injury you can’t afford.