Professional Athletes Need Rehab

A common thread for professional athletes is that they get injured, while performing their sport.

  • Golfers have back, hip, shoulders, and wrist injuries.
  • Tennis players have back, hip, wrist, shoulders, leg and foot injuries.
  • Football and rugby players have injuries from heat to foot and everything in between.
  • Every sport has their own menu of probable injuries.

I'm certainly not going to write here about reducing injuries, because I'm not an expert in those injuries or their prevention. And, I'm not going to write about the specifics of bone, muscle, and connecting tissue rehab, because I'm not an expert in those areas either. Physiotherapists are the experts in rehab of bone, muscle, and connecting tissue, and I certainly see that this is an incredibly important aspect of rehab from injury.

Rehab Of Timing & Rhythm

I do have 15 years experience in recovering timing and rhythm for these athletes (and others). And, I do have strong feelings about the lack of rehab for athletes wanting to recover timing and rhythm as part of recovering from injury, surgery, or illness.

Calibration

Timing and rhythm are the basis of coordination. There are some critical brain circuits which execute our physical movement skills. And these circuits have a calibrated relationship with all the movement related physical parts of the body. The brain cannot move an arm, without 'knowing' where that arm is in space, and where that arm is in relationship to the rest of the body.

But, just because the brain knows where the parts of the body are, that by itself, does not give the body coordination. Something else is needed.

Time And Motion

Those brain circuits also need to know what it takes to move one of those body parts from one location to another location. Part of that 'what it takes' aspect is which MRF (Muscle Fiber Recruitments) are needed to make that move, what sequences of MFR are needed to make that move, and how long it takes to make that move. Of course, this explanation is over simplified, but it certainly gives you the idea of the complexity of movement.

The needed MFR for moving one part of the body usually requires some balancing MFR for the 'opposite' sides of the body for balance, and other muscles for the force needed. So, the calibrations needed for coordination are not only the muscles needed for the move, but also the muscles needed for the balance and the force.

Skills

Mostly, our brains have learned and organized all the little skill-routines needed for making all those movements. But the calibration is what is needed for those little skill routines to successfully make those movements happen.

But injury, surgery, and illness will almost always affect the calibrations between brain and all the body parts involved in movement. So, the rehab for an athlete needs to include that new dimension of timing and rhythm.

Why Include Timing And Rhythm In The Rehab Process?

Physiotherapists are mostly in control of the rehab process and they are not yet being trained in timing and rhythm rehab. But, no one else in sports organizations is trained in timing and rehab either.

It normally takes as long for the physical rehab as the timing and rhythm rehab to occur naturally. So, when a basketball player has an injury, maybe it takes 3 weeks for that athlete to get medically cleared by that physical rehab process. It will often take another 3 weeks or more for the athlete to recover the feel of the ball and of the court, to the point where he/she has recalibrated everything so coordination and accuracy have returned. And, many times it takes much longer for that recalibration to occur (sometimes months).

I'm sure that the Physiotherapists would want to not have any other recovery/rehab process interfere with their physical rehab with the athlete. But, the rehab of timing and rhythm is quite gentle, and it would rarely slow down or otherwise interfere with the physical rehab.

Priming the Pump

If some timing and rhythm recalibration exercises were undertaken during those weeks of physical rehab (exercises which would not use or abuse the injured parts of the athlete's body) the athlete may be ready to return to the court in much less time than what happens using the current regimen.

There are many cases where the athlete does not recover that appropriate feel of the ball an the court for months after physical rehab is finished. Even though the athlete is medically cleared, this is no guarantee that the athlete will naturally and normally recover high levels of execution precision on his/her own.

Generally speaking, using timing and rhythm training, precise execution recovers completely in a max of about 3 weeks. But an accomplished athlete, with timing and rhythm training, will usually recover in less than half of that time. And if the athlete has been doing some recalibration exercises during in physical rehab, this rehab of timing and rhythm will be completed on 1-5 days.

New Dimensions For Athletic Injury Rehab

I suggest that you watch this video for more information.

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