Physical capacities

Whether you are an athlete, a worker or a senior, we are all at risk of injury. However, relieving the pain is not enough to solve the problem. Too often, the injury leaves after-effects that people do not think about and that can increase the risk of re-injury, other pain, or decreased activity. The physiotherapist is the health professional best able to treat you following your injury so that you regain the maximum of the capacities you had before. This article presents you the different physical qualities that will be treated by your physiotherapist.

Range of motion and flexibility

The range of motion is the ability of a joint to move without abnormal restrictions caused by joint or muscle stiffness. Flexibility is the ability of the joint and muscle structures to stretch.

Muscular performance

Strength is the tension that a muscle can generate. It is what allows you to lift objects, practice a sport or do a job. When the strength is generated for a prolonged duration at a lower intensity, it is called endurance. As for power, it is the maximum force that a muscle produces over a short period of time.

Ex: A lack of strength or endurance will limit your ability to walk long distances, to stand for long periods or to do your work. A lack of power will limit your ability to jump or run, among other things.

Joint stability

Joint stability is the resistance of the structure to move beyond what the joint allows.

Ex: After a sprained ankle, stability will be affected. If it is not recovered, the risk of a new sprain will increase considerably. Repetitive sprains can damage muscles, nerves and ligaments.

Balance and proprioception

Balance is the ability to control our body so we do not fall. It is required in various sports such as archery or gymnastics, but also in everyday life during our movements. Proprioception is the ability to know where and how our bodies and joints move in space.

Ex: A lack of balance or proprioception following a sprained ankle or knee increases the risk of injury, for example, when you walk on uneven ground (hiking).

Aerobic capacity/cardiovascular endurance

Aerobic capacity is the endurance of the heart to sustain a level of effort.

Therefore, when you are injured, it is important to consult your physiotherapist to assess the degree of the injury and to get recommendations on what to do to heal well in all aspects of the condition. This way, you make sure you reduce the risk of hurting yourself again or keeping after-effects of your injury that could create other long-term problems.