Rehabilitating Tendon Injuries
Is Strength training program enough? Do we adequately address function when trying to rehabilitate someone ? These are some of the questions we think about at our Downtown Toronto Podiatry and Sports Medicine Clinic. We want to ensure people are fully addressing the entire kinetic chain and also rehabilitating properly to their specific sport.
Avoid Weight and Speed Combined
When speed is added to movement, rate of loading increases. That is why you cannot add weight with speed. It is simply too much load and can end up getting injured. Strength phase can be done separate from the plyometric phase. If one were to add weights with a fast movement, a high risk of injury follows. It is not wise to add speed with movement as well as having a plyometric phase separate from a heavy weight training phase. When rehabilitating tendons, we cant stop at just strength we need to increase energy storage load back up the level it will be used at in the sport. At InStride a Division of Live Active, we want to ensure that phases of rehabilitation are done in the right phase at the right time.
The Mind and Body Disconnect When Injured
In our brain we have something called the motor drive, which tells our body to move and contract our muscles. We basically have two functions that tell us to use the muscle or to not use it. When we have been injured for a certain amount of time, our brain says to us, “do not use this muscle” and there is a lot of inhibition. That also leads to walking, running and moving differently from if we did not have any inhibition. That means when we get injures our brain tells us to act carefully to not get hurt, which can lead to changes in how we walk and run.
The Use of Metronomes
Self paced strength training where one goes to the gym and does the exercise can lead to people losing focus and thinking of other things during their workout. When exercise is simply done but not in a deliberate manner, there is a brain disconnect. What the research is showing, is we can actually help restore the disconnect from our motor drive when we rehabilitate if we have the use of a metronome.
The brain which signals the muscle to move or stay inhibited, does not benefit when one is not mentally focusing on the rate of contraction. However, when we have cues to help guide how fast to move, the brain is more involved. This can be done by using metronomes.
An example of how researchers helped to rehabilitate ballet dancers was to have them climb stairs at a specific rate. Then they ended up having the beat and speed increased up to the same tempo which they would have to dance at. Perhaps for runners it could be up to the pace of how many strides per min. So whatever cadence someone normally runs at, having a metronome at that same pace would help in the process of rehabilitating them back to their specific sport.
Our clinic offers sports medicine, podiatry and physiotherapy services. Our goal is to help those suffering from injuries to get back to doing what they love.