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What is active rehab, and could it help in my recovery?

    If you’re dealing with chronic pain, a physical disability, or an injury as a result of an accident, it’s important to find medical professionals who can help. Recovery can be difficult, but with the right support, you can get back to living your life.

    Active rehabilitation is one of many forms of professional rehabilitation services that can help with a variety of physical challenges.

    What is active rehab?

    Active rehab, also known as exercise rehabilitation, is an evidence-based practice used by kinesiologists to help individuals recover from injuries or manage disabilities. The goal of active rehab is to help patients resume pre-injury activities, prevent re-injury, improve quality of life, and sometimes return safely to work.

    Kinesiologists support active rehab patients by creating customized exercise plans and provide education on safe body mechanics and how to progress the exercises for best outcomes, as well as how to maintain their recovery in the long-term. Because kinesiologists study the science of the mechanics of body movements, they are able to assess patients with a variety of conditions and then create personalized treatment programs to help them achieve their recovery goals.

    Active rehab focuses on improving stability, mobility, flexibility, strength, and endurance through injury-specific exercises, stabilization exercises, and patient education. It is often used to assist with different types of pain as well. These include back pain, whiplash and neck pain, joint pain, soft tissue sprains and strains, postoperative recovery, concussions, balance issues, and more.

    When should I start active rehab?

    For best results, and in most cases you should start your active rehab as soon as possible. However, that may not mean starting immediately after experiencing your injury. Sometimes the purpose of active rehabilitation in the early recovery days is also to prevent de-conditioning elsewhere in your body before we can focus on the recovery of the injured area.

    Depending on your strength and the severity of your injury, you may have to complete some other steps toward your recovery first but we will be able to help direct you if this is appropriate.

    Active rehab will be one of the most important things you will need to do for yourself and your recovery. During active rehab you may be recommended to see other health professionals that can assist with your healing time or address other areas of concern that may be arising. Other treatments may include massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic services, occupational therapy or physiotherapy.

    What is the difference between active rehab and physiotherapy?

    One of the main differences is that ongoing active rehabilitation is typically performed by a kinesiologist. The physiotherapist will often incorporate a part of active rehab into their recommendations but they are most helpful when addressing the specific issues with the joint or soft tissues to assist with mobility.

    Physiotherapy is more commonly utilized immediately after the injury to overcome major challenges and regain mobility. A kinesiologist will then use active rehab to help patients safely transition from their treatment to their pre-injury lifestyle.

    Kinesiologists and physiotherapists are often confused as they share many similarities. Both have University-level education in human movement and help patients recover from injuries.

    Is active rehab covered by ICBC?

    If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident and have a claim with ICBC, within the first 12 weeks you are covered to see both a physical therapist and a kinesiologist for up to 12 sessions.

    Following that our team works directly with your case manager at ICBC and your doctor to make any further recommendations. If you are outside the 12 weeks you are still entitled to active rehabilitation that again is covered by ICBC (and we bill directly to ICBC so no cost out of your pocket) with a referral from your physician. Click here for more information about ICBC coverage for various health and rehabilitation services.

    At Smart Rehab, we take care of all the details for you so that you can focus on your recovery.

    If you’re interested in learning more about active rehabilitation services in the Kamloops area or elsewhere in the Thompson Okanagan, contact Smart Rehab.