To help prevent injuries, sports physiotherapists have begun to employ what they call “prehabilitation” strategies.
Prehabilitation is essentially preventive training to stop the problem before it happens.
The three phases needed to come up with a good prehabilitation plan are:
analyzing an uninjured player’s posture, joint alignment, flexibility, muscle control, biomechanics, core stability and movement patterns,
understanding the risks of the sport itself, and
considering other specifics such as the player’s position.
Following these three steps, enables sports physiotherapists to better predict and then develop specific training programs to prevent common injuries.
These techniques are sports-specific, and indeed athlete-specific, as they highlight the predominant muscle movement patterns present in the position they play sport.
Prehabilitation helps you to:
achieve normal static and dynamic posture
correct muscle length imbalance, joint alignment and flexibility
normalise core stability (upper, lower and left vs right)
enhance muscle endurance, strength and power
boost movement pattern efficiency; and
enhance proprioception, which is the ability for your mind to sense the position of different joints in relation to the rest of the body.
Obviously, the prehabilitation approach for each sport and positions (eg defender vs attacker) within those sports will differ. That’s why it is important to seek the advice of a sports physiotherapist with an interest in your sport.