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Ever heard of 'prehabilitation'?

Many people make the mistake of thinking a physiotherapist is someone you should see only when you are injured. But a physio can be as helpful in preventing injuries as treating them and, by introducing a range of so-called ‘prehabilitation’ techniques will ensure that you stay fit and healthy enough to exercise:

Sports massage

This technique increases blood flow to the muscles and flushes out the toxins produced during hard and prolonged exercise. It’s a far better way to recover from aches and pains than by popping painkillers. It can feel uncomfortable at times – a trained physio will use a range of techniques including the using their elbows and knuckles to release tension – but more than worth it when the freshness to your legs returns the following day. And it also offsets the risks of injuries.

Strength and conditioning

This is not the kind of strength work you might do in a weights gym, but a targeted programme of exercise prescribed by a physio to protect your body against injury. You will generally be prescribed with a tailored regimen of exercises to be performed 2-3 times a week that will strengthen your core and leg muscles, focusing on the weaker areas of your body.

Clothing

Your physio will also offer advice about the kind of clothing that can help to offset injury. Shoes, in particular, can have a dramatic effect on running technique and wearing the wrong pair can sometimes predispose you to problems. Following a thorough analysis of your running style – or gait – a physio will be able to advise which pair suit your feet and your form. They might also suggest the use of compression clothing to support and protect muscles as you move.

Peta Bee

Author Performance Editor of Athletics Weekly Magazine Published on