In the past few posts about our Health & Performance Pyramid, which underpins all our work at Victory, I’ve started by talking about the importance of eating, sleeping and hydrating well, and keeping stress under control, to optimise tissue health. Then, before Christmas, we went through the first phase of our Health Layer, with our physiotherapists diagnosing not just which bit hurts, but finding the underlying cause of your injury, and treating it with manual therapy, exercise and education. And having been through physio, it’s now time to move onto exercise rehabilitation, and/or balance therapy.
Today I’d like to explain exercise rehabilitation. It’s something most physio practices don’t emphasise or even offer, so why, at Victory, do we think it’s so vital?
I think it comes down to two things: imaginative teaching, and habit formation.
In terms of teaching, our Head of Performance Helen Murawska is one of the first rehab therapists in the UK to have gained her MSc in Sport Rehabilitation, and is one of the only rehab therapists worldwide to have completed the full training in the Integrated Systems Model with the amazing Diane Lee. This means that Helen is really good at prescribing effective and interesting exercises that will help you to move from the end of physiotherapy to the point of returning to sports. Frankly, her exercises are more fun and interesting than any the physio team will give you, because prescribing exercises is her expertise.
And in terms of habit formation, the new ways in which Helen will be asking you to move will not come naturally, because you’ll have formed the habits of moving to protect your injury. Changing this takes effort, practice and supervision, to make sure you get it right.
The research tells us it takes 10,000 hours of practice to create a completely new habit.
However, at Victory, we believe we can speed this process up dramatically – because we are not starting from scratch, but are just reminding you of movement habits that you almost certainly used to have before you picked up your injury, and because we teach you cues and reminders that will help you to practise efficiently and mindfully. Simply breaking bad habits is very difficult, but more efficiently, we aim to overwrite your suboptimal movement patterns with the original good habits. But this doesn’t mean that you don’t need effort, practice, and the supervision of our expert rehabilitation team.
Initially, you’ll work with Helen on an individual basis, so that she can prescribe and help you to progress through the basics of rehabilitation for your specific injury and underlying cause. However, after a few sessions of individual rehabilitation therapy, and as soon as you’re ready, she’ll invite you to join her semi-private treatment sessions, where up to 4 clients train together in our purpose-built rehab studio. This allows us to reduce the price of the programme, while still giving you the supervision and structured practice you need to get your new movement patterns deeply ingrained.
If your injury is relatively minor and you’ve not developed too many bad movement habits, then it’s possible that you may not need to go through the exercise rehabilitation stage – but that’s not the case for most of our clients, who tend to have either more serious or more recurrent injuries, and are therefore a lot more prone to dodgy movement patterns.
As I mentioned, the other part of rehab is about balance, and that’s headed up by Elizabeth Banks, our movement & balance therapist. So I’ll tell you all about that next week… or, if you can’t wait and want to experience treatment with Helen or Elizabeth for yourself, call us on 0207 175 0150, or click on the button below, leave your details, and we’ll be in touch asap.