As noted above, the length of time of immobilization has a big impact on a muscle’s adaptation response. Similarly, the position of immobilization is also a significant factor. Muscles immobilized in a shortened position develop less force and are more susceptible to injury than they were prior to immobilization. Muscle tissues immobilized in a lengthened position still experience atrophy, but have a higher tolerance to stress than the muscle tissue that was immobilized in a shortened position.1
Maintaining muscle activity is important in mitigating the effects of immobility on all four of the tissue types discussed in this review...
... middle of paper ...
...nd for 12-24 hours following exercise. Thus, part of the home program is to teach the patient to carefully self-assess the tissue response to stress-inducing therapeutic activities in the clinic and at home. It is also important to understand the pre-injury functional status and functional goals of the patient. For patients who desire or are required to return to consistent high force activity, specific flexibility and strengthening activities should be added that address the specific flexibility and force needed to perform work, sport, or other specific functional demands. Patients should first tolerate these activities at sub-maximal effort (e.g., 70%) before gradually progressing to 100% effort. The latter should be completed successfully and without pain/injury in a controlled environment before the patient returns to 100% effort in work or athletic settings.
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