• Injury Rehabilitation and Recovery Analytics

    on Nov 7th, 2017

For the professional dancer with persistent hip pain or the avid runner who just can’t seem to bounce back from a grueling marathon, rehabilitation opens the door to recovery. But if you only see rehabilitation as a tool to get you back on your feet, then you’re missing the other half of the picture: Rehabilitation is also a systematic approach to understanding your body — how it works, what makes it work best, and what stops it in its tracks.

Staying active and engaged in your recovery

Here at Fuller Health Group in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois, we work with a lot of highly active people. Every day we help athletes of all kinds overcome injuries and setbacks, and we know firsthand that there’s a fine line between reaching peak physical performance and overtraining.

Dealing with any physical setback that interferes with your normal level of activity can be disappointing and frustrating, and it may even make you feel as if you have little control over your own body.

No matter what limitations you’re dealing with or what your recovery goals are, however, there are certain aspects of your fitness and physical health that need to be addressed during your rehab journey.

Most of our athletes are eager to work on their strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, power, agility, coordination, quickness, and cardiovascular endurance. While these are all important components of fitness, they can’t be regained without understanding how and where your body’s imbalances and instabilities arise.  

A major component of rehab is learning how to undo the dysfunctional muscle patterns that develop from overtraining and injury, and then helping your muscles relearn proper firing patterns. Another big part of rehab is understanding how much rest and sleep your body needs to maintain peak fitness.

Our rehabilitation program takes a holistic, multidisciplinary approach that promotes safe, efficient, effective, and active physical recovery from the stress and strain caused by injury or overtraining.

It includes a combination of physical therapy, manual therapy — such as massage or chiropractic care — lifestyle considerations, education, and expert advice.

The magic of neuro-rehabilitation

Part of the reason that rehab introduces movement as soon as possible in the process is because early movement is critical to quick and effective recovery and reconditioning.

Inflammation that’s allowed to linger can inhibit muscular firing patterns, creating further imbalance and instability — both around the injured area and elsewhere in your body. In addition to reducing inflammation, early movement helps restore range of motion, retrain muscular firing patterns and, ultimately, restore muscular strength.

At Fuller Health Group, we like to take rehab to the next level. Our Director of Human Performance, Drew Bales, helps patients restore muscular balance and strength through neurokinetic therapy. As a board-certified clinical massage therapist and certified personal trainer, Drew is ideally positioned to provide this advanced form of manual therapy.

Neurokinetic therapy is a corrective movement protocol that uses precise muscle testing to change the programming of the motor control center (MCC) in your cerebellum. The MCC is the area of your brain that coordinates all the movement patterns in your body, and it learns through failure.

That means that when a muscle is inhibited, either because it’s injured, weak, or stressed, the MMC will find a substitute muscle to get the job done. If this bad pattern is allowed to continue — as is often the case when injury is involved — dysfunction and pain will follow.

Drew uses manual muscle testing to find muscles that are weak or dysfunctional in relationship to other muscles. By manually testing weak muscles and allowing them to fail, Drew helps open the MCC to new learning.   

After balance is restored, the MCC is reprogrammed to once again recognize these inactive muscles. To complete the process, Drew provides specific rehab exercises that help re-establish a functional pattern.

Recovery analytics: A tool to help you stay in the game

Your recovery is only complete if it gives you the tools you need to optimize your post-rehab performance and avoid re-injury. At Fuller Health Group, we believe that knowledge is power, and that’s why we offer recovery analytics to all of our rehab patients.

Using state-of-the-art wearable technology by WHOOP, this scientifically-grounded performance optimization program aims to maximize your post-rehab performance by gathering detailed information about your overall physical state, training intensity, sleep quality, and daily stress levels.

Knowing when your body is ready to train hard, and when it would benefit most from recovery, allows you to structure a flexible, smart training plan that can lead to positive behavioral changes and help unlock optimal performance.   

Anytime you have questions or need advice, you can get in touch with the team at Fuller Health Group via Klara, a secure app that allows for easy back-and-forth communication.

Your success is our success, and we’ll do everything we can to help you reach your goals!

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