Exercise prescription is very important. The way we exercise should be directly related to our goal. Variations of exercising e.g. duration, frequency and intensity achieve different effects on the body’s muscles, tendons, heart and lungs.
Massage.physio.co.uk are running an “Exercise prescription” workshop for sports and massage therapists to help highlight and identify the right and the wrong ways to prescribe exercise as part of a rehabilitation programme. Exercise prescription and massage work hand in hand. If one aspect of the treatment programme is performed ineffectively the results can be detrimental. A clear example of this can be observed in patients with Achilles tendinopathy.
Achilles tendinopathy is a condition that causes pain and stiffness in your Achilles tendon. Treatment for this pathology includes a combination of massage and exercise.
Massage is used to effectively release the gastrocnemius and soleus muscle that are often tight. Deep tissue and friction massage can also be used to break up the scar tissue formed in the Achilles tendon which can result in increased length of the tendon and reduce pain.
Exercise prescription for Achilles tendinopathy includes the Alfredson’s heel drop programme. The heel drop programme aims to load and stress the Achilles tendon to prompt adaptations such as mechanotransduction and recovery. The patient is required to perform 3 x 15 repetitions twice daily of the gastrocnemius heel drop and the soleus heel drop exercise. Alongside 3 times the 30s stretching exercises of the gastrocnemius and soleus.
If the patient fails to perform the full sets and repetitions of the above programme the Achilles tendon may not be stressed enough to adapt, heal and recover. This could eventually lead to an unsuccessful rehabilitation programme regardless of the effective massage treatment received.
The above case study highlights the importance of correct and effective exercise prescription. If an individual is not told to perform the full sets and repetitions of the Alfredson’s heel drop programme their rehab success could be hindered. Furthermore, many pathologies are rehabilitated in different ways depending on the cause, aetiology and severity. Therefore, it is important to personalise exercise prescription to each individual patient’s pathology.
If you would like to find out more about the “Exercise Prescription” workshop please visit Eventbrite.