Let’s face it, any injury, big or small, can be difficult to overcome. And in the process of injury rehabilitation, there are a number of routes you can take for recovery, but it’s important to note that both active and passive movements are necessary to successfully get you fully recovered and back to what you love.
To understand why both of these movements are important, you first have to know what they are. Passive movements are those that don’t require you to exert any energy or effort; you’re being moved. Active movements on the other hand are those that require you to actively participate, exerting the energy and activating the muscles to perform an action.
First, when it comes to the beginning steps of injury recovery, passive movement can help to mobilize the joints and muscles, especially during an acute phase of swelling and inflammation when this might be uncomfortable to do actively. It also allows us to understand the extent to which the joint is immobilized, allowing us to come up with a treatment plan that’s right for you. Passive movement can also prevent stiffness and further limitation of movement in those unable to move the joint. It will also be used throughout the treatment to check the progression of the injury recovery process.
Active movements are extremely helpful because it allows the client to build strength and increase flexibility in the joints. Active movements also allow your massage therapist to observe any dysfunctions or weaknesses as you go through the minute phases of any movement, looking for abnormal or even potentially harmful movement patterns that you already have or are developing. This can make your recovery process more efficient and prevent recurrences of injury down the road.
Neither of these is the be-all-end-all of rehabilitation. A balance of active and passive movements allows us to aid in your recovery while having a clear picture of the progress you’re making.