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  • Writer's pictureAdam Whatley

Injury Prevention: what is PRE-HAB? Dynamic Osteopaths

Updated: Mar 23

Here at Dynamic Osteopaths inSolihull and Birmingham we are looking to educate people on the under-appreciated values of injury prevention. Pre-hab (or pre-habilitation) is basically referring to preventing an area from becoming injured in the first based OR prior to surgery, to enable the surgery to have better clinical outcomes.   

Here we take a look into how you can 'injury proof' and look after your joints to help with the prevention of injuries. 

Part 1:

Spine and lower back Here at Dynamic Osteopaths  we spend every day dealing with a wide variety of injuries. Our philosophy is aimed at joint preservation and injury prevention. This is done via pre-habilitation or ‘prehab’ - acting before injury occurs! Covered in this post will be our very basic ‘prehab’ guidelines commonly used in sports injuries and performance medicine, with particular focus on the SPINE in this article. The spine is the most common problematic area for both athletes and the general fitness population.

WHY IS PREHAB IMPORTANT? A normal healthy joint has good function, but when additional resistance is placed on our joints, sometimes they are not strong enough to deal with this, and insufficiency overload may occur. Here is where ‘Prehab’ comes in. Focus areas are: Increase joint dynamic control and stability • Increase strength and function of supporting muscles • Promote recovery from exercises • Prevention additional micro-trauma from developing

PREHAB FOR THE SPINE Back pain is the most common injury, and with back pain - everything else is affected. Over the years, research has over-focused on core strengthening, which is important to understand, We have established that dynamic functional mobility is far more important. Spinal prehab focuses on: • Static postural control • Core function (as opposed to ‘bracing’) • Dynamic stability • Functional mobility Core muscles are the foundation for supporting your spine, but we all need to get away from the idea of core bracing and strength and edge more towards mobility and functional stability, alongside endurance and stamina. Our core muscles should be working automatically in high powered functional tasks, without the need to statically ‘activate’.

PREHAB EXERCISES FOR THE SPINE AND LOWER BACK Exercise (1) - Superman Hold Kneel down on all fours, brace core muscle and slowly extend out one leg. Then with the opposite hand, make a salute, with the elbow facing out at the side. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat x 3

Exercise (2) - Superman Dynamic With the hold position from exercise one, slowly bring your elbow in towards your opposite knee, meeting in the centre. Repeat this dynamic movement for 10 repetitions and then swap. Control your core muscles throughout this exercise

Exercise (3) - Superman Rotation

Take the hold position from exercise one, slowly lift your elbow up towards the ceiling. Repeat for 10 repetitions and once again, control core muscles throughout

Exercise (4) - Lunge Position, With High to Low Wood Chop Next to a cable machine, kneel down into the lunge position with the knees at 90°. Then, perform a slow and controlled mid-spine rotation with the arm going over the front knee (note: only rotate to 45°). Perform 10 repetitions x 3 on each side 

Exercise (5) - Straight Arm Pull Down (A) On The Ground: Facing a cable machine with both knees 'softened', hold the bar in front and pull down to thighs with straight elbows. Perform for 10 repetitions x 3, bracing core muscles (B) With Bosu Ball: Reduce resistance and perform standing on a bosu ball 

Exercise (6) - Single Leg Bridge Lie on your back with your knees bent at 90°. With one leg straight (knees still together), slowly lift your hips off the mat. Perform 10 repetitions x 2

Exercise (7) - Backward Lunge With Overhead Rotation Perform a backwards lunge, then rotate your spine in the opposite direction to your rear leg. Perform 10 repetitions to each side x 2

Exercise (8) - Single Leg Cable Row

On one leg and slightly softened knee, stand in the centre of a bosu ball. With two single handle cable attachments with a little bit of resistance, pull it in towards your chest. Counterbalance your weight during this exercise to remain balanced. 15 repetitions x2

Exercise (9) - Single Leg Deadlift Stand on a single leg with a dumbbell held in the opposite hand. Slowly bend your knee and lower your dumbbell towards the floor in front of your foot. Remember to keep your chin and chest up during this exercise so you don't bend your back (note: push and drive up using your heel and not to bear weight onto your toes). 10 repetitions x 2

Get in touch with Dynamic Osteopaths Solihull to find out more. We have back pain clinics also in Birmingham.

01564 330773

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