While many physiotherapy patients attend their own gymnasium to complete exercise and strength training, there are proven benefits to exercising at a gym within a physiotherapy practice.
Case in point is Physio Freedom in Warrnambool, where patients can exercise in a safe environment where there are physiotherapists on hand to help with any queries.
“The advantage of having a gym as a part of Physio Freedom is that we can show patients specific exercises and correct technique ‘in-rooms’,” says physiotherapist and director of Physio Freedom, Clifton Watt. “The patient can then take this information back to their own exercise setting and apply the changes.”
According to Clifton, an increasing amount of research is proving the importance of exercise-based sports rehabilitation post injury. This is even more important after common surgeries such as anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions, hip arthroscopes and shoulder surgery. “Our gym allows us to get patients straight into strength-based training, which in many cases is the best way to rehabilitate post injury or prevent injuries going forward,” he says.
Clifton says strength training is extremely beneficial in preventing many common injuries, such as back pain, soft tissue injuries (such as hamstring and calf tears), ligament injuries (rolled ankles) and tendon injuries in endurance athletes.
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Physio Freedom has provided physiotherapy for the Koroit Football Club for the past three years and Clifton says they’ve noticed a significant reduction in soft tissue injuries after the implementation of strength-based exercises, such as core and glute strengthening programs. The practice is also involved in Warrnambool College’s Sporting Pathways Program. “The strength and conditioning program there has a heavy focus on core and glute control with correct technique and alignment,” explains Clifton. “Indications are that it is helping the kids performance in their chosen sport, as well as decreasing the likelihood of injury.”
To assist older patients with their ongoing physical wellbeing, Physio Freedom will be offering the GLA:D Australia program from early 2019. This is an adaptation of Denmark’s education and exercise program (an acronym for Good Life with Arthritis: Denmark), which is ideal for people with hip or knee osteoarthritis symptoms, and aims to prevent the need for knee and hip replacements in arthritic patients.
“Results from Denmark have indicated a 15 per cent reduction in pain and a 10 per cent increase in quality of life as measured on the KOOS (Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score) scale 12 months after the program,” says Clifton. “We are hoping to achieve the same, if not better results in Australia.”