Tuesday 18 July 2017

Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands

There was one principle that was commonly reiterated to us all throughout school. 

SAID: Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands

Whether it's for rehabilitation or for fitness, this is a very important thing to note about the body's reactions and adaptations to the stresses we place upon it. Beneficial changes cannot and will not occur if we don't give them a reason to happen.

So, in the same way that you won't gain muscular size if you don't work out, you also can't expect tissue to properly heal following injury if we don't exercise it in the manner that we need it to function.

Why aren't I in shape?
Essentially, you use it or lose it. I can't tell you how many times I've heard potential clients decline starting rehab in their acute phase of injury because they think that they need to rest and wait first for partial healing to occur on its own. This is especially rampant among elderly demographics who simply feel unsafe attempting any sort of exercise too close to their injury.

It doesn't always have to come to this!

Unfortunately, young or old, too much rest is more detrimental than anything. Immobilizing injured tissue results in it healing in a way that typically doesn't allow for optimal return to activity, as the tissue was not stressed with any of the demands that replicate it's intended function.

I cringe every time someone tells me that their doctor recommended nothing but bedrest; something that is still painfully common. Inversely, when an injury occurs on an athlete whose team I work with, I get to witness the increased speed that they bounce back completely from injury. Just by jumping on top of exercise and range of motion immediately during the acute phase, we're able to seriously cut down on their recovery time.

I'm being real; I'm not expecting you to box jump and power clean directly after blowing your ACL. There's always some sort of movement that is possible, though, and something is always better than nothing.

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