Treatments Techniques that may be used during the treatment of an injury include: Electrotherapy (Ultrasound/Interferential/TENS) Muscle stretching techniques Muscle strengthening Core stability training Proprioception training Sports Massage Rehabilitation typically begins with a pain management treatment program which may include ice or heat application, ultrasound and electrical stimulation. Ultrasound is a tool to increase circulation to the affected or injured area which assists in speeding up the healing process. It can also reduce the swelling causing pain. Electrical stimulation, commonly known as TENS or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, utilizes electric waves that penetrate into the muscle and aid in the relief of pain. After the pain management a significant element of rehabilitation involves muscle exercises. Muscle stretching assists the muscles shortened by injury or pain to regain their normal length to optimize pain-free motion. The exercises address elements such as strength, endurance, flexibility and balance to improve performance. Muscle strengthening exercises work muscles as they move against resistance which can come from a variety of sources including exercise machines, free weights or your own body weight. Rehabilitation will usually start with low intensity strengthening exercises, often without movement (isometric) or through a very small range, and progress on to more intense exercises when this can be comfortably achieved. Core stability training targets the muscles deep within the abdomen which connect to the spine, pelvis and shoulders, which assist in the maintenance of good posture and provide the foundation for all arm and leg movements. Proprioception is the body's subconscious ability to sense movement within joints and joint position which enables us to know where our limbs are in space without having to look; we don't have to think about the movements.  After a period of injury, especially joint injuries, this ability can be lost which is likely to cause a recurrence of the injury unless retrained by proprioceptive training. Sports massage is the manipulation and rehabilitation of soft tissue including muscles, ligaments and tendons in order to enhance the functions of the body such as movement and performance.  It can assist in correcting problems and imbalances that are caused by repetitive and strenuous physical activity.
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Alex Hansford & Will Crocker are members of the Register of Exercise Professionals