To Your Health
June, 2010 (Vol. 04, Issue 06)
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How Much Load, How Many Repetitions?

The load refers to the amount of resistance used during the exercise.

Repetition refers to how many times the resistance will be used during a set or grouping. The load for someone rehabbing an injury should be minimal initially. The key here is to become familiar with the exercises in the program. This helps develop muscle coordination and the movements involved.

Resistance can be added once you are familiar with the exercise program. Even then the resistance should increase slowly. One of the primary causes of injury during resistance training is advancing the exercise load too rapidly.

A general rule for repetitions is fewer repetitions with higher resistance for muscle building and higher repetitions with lighter resistance for muscle toning. In rehabilitation, toning is the initial focus.

When using rubber tubing, for resistance, use the smallest diameter tubing until the exercise routine is familiar. Stronger tubing can then be utilized as you gain strength. Thinner and longer tubing provides lower resistance. Thicker, shorter tubing provides greater resistance. Again, start light. Heavy resistance early may cause re-injury.

Rehab - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Rest Periods

Rest must be factored into every rehabilitation and exercise program. This is closely related to exercise frequency and is a key factor in avoiding over-exercising, re-injury or developing new injuries. Without rest, you will get too much of a good thing.

Resistance exercises help in soft-tissue and scar remodeling by helping reorient the scar tissue along the lines of the original tissue to help achieve the highest degree of healing. It is vital and effective as long as soft-tissue healing is on the right path and aerobic exercise has assisted in developing a basis for you to continue to the point that resistance exercise is possible.

Soft-tissue injuries can be painful, and depending on their severity, they can land you on the sidelines for a few days to weeks or even months. Regardless, it's essential that you and your doctor work together to get you on the road to a speedy, complete recovery, which is why it's so important to understand the successful steps to rehabilitation. Talk to your doctor for more information.

The Three Phases of Soft-Tissue Healing

Phase One: The Inflammatory Phase. Inflammation is the highlight of the first phase, which lasts 48-72 hours. Torn tissues leak blood and exudates into the area. Swelling begins and the blood and exudates (water, white/red blood cells, etc.) irritate surrounding tissues, causing pain. The key to controlling phase one is controlling the inflammation. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (RICE) are standard procedures just after injuries. Therapy modalities aimed at reducing swelling and pain are helpful, which is why you should involve your doctor in the process immediately. Early movement with minimal weight-bearing and stress is recommended.