Use Passive Methods for Active Rehab

September 12, 2017 | John Paul Catanzaro

In an interview with Stan “The Rhino” Efferding, the importance of active rehab is discussed. Passive methods such as massage, ultrasound, electronic muscle stimulation, active release technique (ART), and so on, all have their place, but they don’t substitute for active rehab… they facilitate it!

Active methods will always trump passive methods. If you don’t move, it’s no different than putting a cast or brace on the area. You’ll quickly lose strength, mobility, and function. I’ve known many people over the years that have gone the passive approach for weeks, even months, after an injury only to come back in worse condition than they began.

I’ve learned that movement is the key – that movement needs to come from you, not from others. Sure, you can have people or machines work on you, but only to help you work on yourself. As Efferding puts it,

“Things that are done to you or for you are not as effective as things you do for yourself. Things like massage therapy, or chiropractic, or even ART aren’t a solution, they’re a gateway to the opportunity for you then to do the things that you need to do. ART [for example] allows you full range of motion. Well, now you need to use that motion to strengthen the muscles, break up the scar tissue, and bring blood to the area… Use it or lose it!”

Bottom Line: The best way to recover from an injury is movement to encourage blood flow to the area and lymphatic drainage of waste products away from the area.

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