Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Do Exercise And Rehab Go Hand In Hand?


MBA Association President, Aravind, is back on the blog this week to chat about exercise and rehab.

As an active person, an injury can become annoying and tedious. Depending on the injury, some people may have to give up exercise altogether. In other cases, some find that exercise actually helps with recovery.



As an avid exerciser, Aravind, wasn't going to let his injury stop him from exercising. However, he had to change his regular exercise routine. 

How Did Your Injury Affect Your Exercise Regime?

I had a chronically loose shoulder which affected my upper body workouts tremendously.  I had surgery for it May of 2012.  It put me in a sling for 5 weeks and was approximately 6 months before I was cleared for sport.  After the surgery and the sling, I had to relearn how to lift my arm again and move it properly.

What Did You Do For Rehab?

I had a heavy dose of Sport Med Therapy, including 3 main parts:




I was in weekly for physiotherapy and massage at the Sport Medicine Centre.  Massage helped breakdown scar tissue and stiff muscles that had developed from the surgery and sling. 

With physio, I was able to learn how to move my shoulder again through my rehab exercises. The centre provided me with access to their state-of-the-art equipment for rehab and recovery. They are top of the line in terms of their staff, and I felt like I was in good hands when I was there.

Rehab Exercises


I planned my surgery date in the summer so that whenever I wasn't working my summer job, I was free to do my rehab.  I would probably spend an hour or more 3x a week going through my warm up and rehab exercises for my shoulder.  Every day I would work on gradual movement and flexibility for my shoulder for 15-30 minutes.

Still Hitting The Pulse 


There has been some proof that even if you are lifting heavy on one side and not the other, the other will still show some gains. Not 100% mind you, but I can attest to the fact that it is true.  It also kept me from withering away and going crazy from not picking up anything heavy.

For my arms, I did a lot of single arm work and for legs, I focused on balance exercises or machines for heavy loading since holding barbells wouldn't go so well.

Physio & Massage, Friend Or Foe?


There’s a lot of information out there on physio, massage, and sport therapy. Many people tend not to believe in it. I think this is partly due to the fact that they may not understand it. I know this first hand because my parents didn't want me to get the surgery. They thought my shoulder would just heal with time and that the doctors were out for money. 

At the end of the day, it was my decision and I opted for it.To put things in perspective, my shoulder was so damaged that there was a time where I was afraid to play any sport (basketball, volleyball, flag football), because I had popped my shoulder out multiple times in all these sports; let’s not get started on racket sports.

When I got the surgery, the doctor told me that for a pro sport player the normal recovery time was between 4-6 months. More typically, it was around 6 months to a year for the average person. However, he said, if I followed my rehab plan, he thought I could be back on the field within 6 months.

My surgery was on May 28th, 2012, and I was playing intramural flag football that fall, in large part due to the sport med staff.

How Will Exercise Continue To Fit Into Your Life Long Term?


It’s my time away from the rigors and stresses of life.  It’s the time that I don’t think about emails or about work. It’s time that I lift heavy things, I play ball, I socialize with the other regulars in between sets. But most importantly, no matter what, it’s the one place that when I walk out, I can always walk out with my head held high because: I never regret it when I do it; I always regret it when I don’t. 

**If you're injured, always be sure to consult your doctor before starting an exercise program! 

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