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Prehab vs. Rehab: What's the difference?

I want to take the time to explain the difference between my role as a physical therapist in the clinic and my role with NRG Health. I think the best way to explain this is to reference back to the sickness-wellness-fitness continuum of my last post.


Physical Therapy = Reactive

PRehabilitation = Proactive

Physical therapy rehabs patients that are in the sickness portion of the sickness-wellness-fitness continuum. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) defines physical therapists as: "movement experts who optimize quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education. Physical therapists teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so that they will achieve long-term health benefits."

Our primary goal as physical therapist when it comes to prevention is the following:

  • Educate patients on the concepts of wellness, fitness, and promoting a healthy lifestyle

  • Screen patient's to prevent and manage disease and disability by recognizing risk factors for developing chronic diseases

  • Work to be a dynamic link between healthcare and wellness & fitness providers

  • Advocate for physical education in schools, advocate that all community members have the same opportunity for safe activities, and advocate to reduce social inequalities and carries from exercise

However, my major role as a physical therapist is reactive in nature and trying to help people return normalcy and function to their lives. I treat musculoskeletal injuries that range from acute to chronic and injuries that involve muscles, bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments. My goal is to transition them from that sickness stage into the wellness stage. 99% of that patients that I treat experienced an injury and it is due to that injury that they are seeking medical attention.


My role at NRG HEALTH

NRG Health was created with the intent to work with people/athletes in the wellness and fitness stages. If it is someone that is just transitioning into that wellness stage and just recovered from an injury, I want to work together so that you do not return to that sickness stage. On the other hand, if someone wants to improve their fitness but feels as though there performance/progress has plateaued recently, let's assess and address your movement deficits so you can take that next step.

Our prehab approach is meant to be proactive in nature, we want to keep you out of the healthcare system and in the gym. At NRG, prevention means:

  • Assessing movement quality and addressing any dysfunction with an individualized program, which will help reduce the risk of injury

  • Improving lifting technique to reduce injuries due to poor form

  • Improving cardiovascular fitness with interval training in our programs to prevent diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases

Our goal is to keep you well and fit. However, if you do experience an injury and I would be more than happy to treat you in the clinic.



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