You might assume that you should only see a physiotherapist when you have pain or an injury. In the past, you may have only thought to visit a physio when you are looking to finally get rid of that niggling pain, fix your sore back or get rehab for an injury. These are all great reasons to seek out physiotherapy services, but you can also come to a physiotherapist for support with maintaining optimal physical function, increasing range of motion, improving strength and conditioning, and work to reduce the chance of injuries occurring in the first place.
Think of injury prevention as ‘prehab” or a way of minimising time spent on the sideline with injuries. But, strength and conditioning is not just something for elite athletes to focus on – it can benefit all of us.
For example, if you are an office worker who spends all day at a computer without moving a lot, but you love to run marathons on the weekends, you might benefit from a physiotherapist who can assist you with targeted conditioning exercises to strengthen muscles as well as advising regarding movement strategies while at work. This can help to relieve the tension in your neck, shoulders and back, as well as promote increased movement, and prepare successfully for exercise while minimising the chance of injury occurring when you spring into action.
What exactly is strength and conditioning?
Strength and conditioning refers to a specific type of training and exercise that focuses on building muscle and movement skills. There is a strong emphasis on mobility, flexibility, strength, and endurance. Many people assume that this would only be beneficial for athletes looking to improve performance in a specific sport, but scientific evidence suggests that strength and conditioning training has a wide range of benefits for everyday people, including:
– Improved bone density and muscle mass, supporting strength and resilience as we age
– Boosts your metabolism leading to more calories burned
– A reduced fall risk, with a fall rate reduced by 34% in one study
– Improvement in strength and muscle mass
– Improvement in range of motion and general agility, leading to reinforced joints and a reduction in injury risk
It also can improve heart health, mental health, mood, and physical appearance.
If you are an older adult, a physiotherapist can use strength and conditioning training to assist you with concerns such as falls prevention, pelvic floor strengthening, balance and agility. This is an important opportunity to prevent injury and reduce risks of hospitalisation.
Your physiotherapist can work with you to perform an assessment of your current health, strength and concerns, and can identify areas to target and improve. For example, when you strengthen specific muscle groups, you can reduce the risk of injury when doing common activities such as running. As we increase our exercise or as we get older, proper form, technique and muscle use can make all the difference in ongoing vitality and health.
Seeing a physiotherapist regularly for strength and conditioning training could also improve your technique and ensure that you have correct form when you are exercising, working and doing other daily activities. Many injuries, niggles, aches and pains arise from months to years of incorrect methods of exercise and inappropriate loading.
A great benefit of seeing a physio for support with strength training and conditioning is that they can give you a range of exercises, targeted movements and strengthening and stretching exercises to perform at home, whenever it is convenient for you.
You don’t leave your car until it has broken down to take it in for a service, and you shouldn’t leave your body last on your to-do list. If you’d like to pop in for a tune-up and optimise your movement and strength, contact our helpful, knowledgeable and skilled physios and book now today.