Why exercise rehab is important

Exercise rehabilitation or rehab is a personalised approach to recovery, prescribed to every patient at Pittwater Chiro. Exercise rehab is the restoration of optimal form and function. When recovering from an injury or surgery, targeted exercises are prescribed to get your body moving to recover from injury and ensure that you can do all your daily activities. In addition, studies show that when exercise is combined with manual therapy (hands-on treatment), patients are more likely to recover from pain at a quicker rate and with a reduced chance of re-injury.

Exercise rehab is a range of exercise techniques, formulated for the specific injury and the needs and limitations of the individual. These exercise techniques can be focused on improving range of motion, balance, coordination, flexibility, strength or functional movement patterns. Research suggests that exercise rehab can be beneficial for pain and/or injuries, such as neck pain, low back pain, ankle sprains, hamstring injuries, shoulder injuries and knee injuries.

The benefits of exercise rehabilitation

  • Improved strength and stability
  • Improved flexibility and range of motion
  • Decreased pain levels via release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers)
  • Prevention of injury recurrence
  • Improved proprioception, and subsequently improved balance and coordination.
  • Improved psychological well-being
  • Increased recovery rates

Important components of a exercise rehab program

Assessment: Allied health professionals i.e. chiropractors, physiotherapists, and exercise physiologists, should be the only practitioners that provide you with an exercise rehab program. A professional will be able to effectively assess and understand the nature and extent of your injury, your current health status and the specific needs of you as an individual to recover from the current condition.

Tailored programs: Building on the above-mentioned point, a tailored program is useful when recovering from injuries or chronic pain conditions. We’re all different, and every human body has different strengths and limitations. If you start a program with too many exercises or a weight that is too heavy for you, you will set yourself up for re-injury. If you progress through your program too slowly, your body won’t continue to strengthen, again increasing the risk of re-injury. This is why it is important to have a health professional monitor your progress ensuring that you are safely improving at the right pace.

Progressive overload: That brings me to my next point. Progressive overload is a concept widely used but often poorly executed. It’s pretty normal to get excited about an exercise or the feeling that you’re getting back to your pre-injury activity levels. This enthusiasm can make you go from 0 – 100 real quick which can result in re-injury. The progressive overload principle involves gradually increasing the intensity or load over time to continually challenge your muscles, and promote growth and adaptation. The idea is to push your body slightly beyond its current capacity during each workout, forcing it to adapt by becoming stronger, more endurance-oriented, or more flexible. It’s essential to implement progressive overload cautiously and gradually to minimise the risk of injuries and allow for proper recovery.

Functional movements: While this can be a bit of a buzzword, exercises within a rehab plan should aim to mimic the functional movement patterns you do as an individual. This could be simple activities of daily living, such as getting up from a chair, or can be more sport-specific such as rotational movements. The goal of these exercises is to build confidence in your abilities to complete these activities pain-free.

Exercise rehabilitation is a transformative journey that goes beyond physical recovery. It empowers individuals to actively participate in their healing process, fostering a sense of control and resilience. Always consult with health professionals to develop a personalised exercise rehab plan that suits your specific needs and circumstances.


  1. Frontera WR. Rehabilitation of Sports Injuries: Scientific Basis. Vol X of Encylopaedia of Sports Medicine. An IOC Medical Comittee Publication in collaboration with the International Federation of Sports Medicine. Blackwell Science Ltd. 2003
  2. Mintken PE, McDevitt AW, Cleland JA, Boyles RE, Beardslee AR, Burns SA, et al. Cervicothoracic Manual Therapy Plus Exercise Therapy Versus Exercise Therapy Alone in the Management of Individuals With Shoulder Pain: A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial. The journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. 2016;46(8):617–28.
  3. Brody LThein, Hall CM. Therapeutic exercise moving toward function. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Health; 2011.
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