Active Rehab Helps Clients With
- Motor vehicle accident injury (ICBC active rehab)
- Lower back pain
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Long term disability
- Chronic pain
While injuries resulting from a car or motor vehicle accident (MVA) will range in type and severity, the most common and widespread are soft-tissue injuries. Most people don’t realize just how painful muscles can get, and attribute their pain to bone, joint or nerve damage. Painful muscles are the result of a state of inflammation and stiffness, it’s our body’s reaction to protect and guard itself against further trauma. Our anxieties about pain, rather than actual tissue damage, commonly slow the healing process because MVA victims become overly protective and movement becomes limited.
This protective response is very common and understandable, but clients who are capable of exercise need to use movement to get back to their former level of function. An active rehab program is designed to move and relax our muscles and get them back to working in a functional and productive way. To be safe, kinesiologists use a standardized questionnaire to ensure clients are capable of exercise, and when in doubt will always defer to the recommendations of a doctor or referring physiotherapist.
Kinesiologists prescribe exercises with varying goals ranging from strength and endurance to more precise and targeted muscle control. With lower back pain for example, strengthening the muscles of the lumbar region at the core that connects to the spine will reinforce the support structure of the spine. Core stability exercise can be viewed as the enhanced ability of the muscle to control and protect the spine from damage and reinjury (Hodges, 2003). Another example is reducing chronic neck pain by increasing the range in which we can comfortably turn, bend or lift our heads (Ylinen, 2003).
The goal of active rehabilitation is to increase stability in weak areas of the body that are prone to damage in order to reduce the risk of recurrent issues. By strengthening these areas, active rehabilitation also helps reduce the amount of overcompensation by surrounding muscles.
By learning to recruit more core or deep neck musculature, individuals build more confidence in everyday movements and positions like prolonged sitting, standing up, kneeling down, crouching, squatting, or carrying.
It’s hard to oversell the benefits of active rehab to people with injuries from a car accident. The long term benefits of active rehab include:
- Decreased scar tissue in muscle
- Improved heart and lung function
- Increased bone density
- Decreased risk of injury when trying new activities
- Decreased risk of injury with falling
- Increased endurance in recreational interests
- Decreased fatigue with day to day activities
- Increased confidence/self-efficacy
- Increased energy/metabolism