As Sports+Spinal Physiotherapy, resistance training often plays a key role in our patients rehabilitation. Most muscle strains occur directly as a result of a load being too great or too rapid for the muscle to tolerate. As a result of this, we must look at increasing the capacity of the muscle to take load in order to prevent re-injury.
One of the key benefits of resistance training is improved muscle strength. In the early stages of rehabilitation, we incorporate isometric contractions to maintain muscle strength, maintain joint stability and promote healing of the damaged tissue. Isometric contractions occur when tension is placed on a muscle without the movement of the surrounding tissues or joints. In the later stages of rehabilitation we incorporate eccentric contractions where load is added to the muscle while the muscle is lengthening.
Eccentric contractions play a key role in muscle strain rehabilitation and can also have a pivotal role in the prevention of re-injury. There is a wide body of evidence in favour of the prescription of eccentric loading particularly in the treatment of tendinopathies such as Achilles tendinopathy. There is also growing evidence showing the effectiveness of the implementation of eccentric loading in athletes in the prevention of hamstring strains (i.e. Nordic Drops in the prevention of hamstring injuries).
Factors such as grade of injury, acute/chronic status, demands of the sport, age of the patient and previous injuries can determine in the type of exercises we prescribe to a patient and we would advise patients not to undertake an exercise programme with a new injury without consulting with a medical professional or physiotherapist first.