T Nation

Why are Machines Good for Rehab?

From what I understand is that bodyweight and free weight exercises are more natural and develop the stabilizer muscles much more so than weight machines (except perhaps cable machines). Developing stabilizer muscles are what’s supposed to help prevent joint and musculotendinous injuries?

So, if someone was rehabilitating for a injury, then why would it be a good idea for that person to use weight machines instead of doing free-weight or bodyweight exercises?

Depends on the stage of the injury. As you said bw exercises help PREVENT, if your injured it’s too late to prevent. You want to focus on the injured area. You don’t fix a flat tire by giving the car a wheel alignment.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
You don’t fix a flat tire by giving the car a wheel alignment.

[/quote]

Best analogy ever!! My knee is jacked up, my rehab for the first month was nothing by hip abductions on a machine, leg curls, and single leg pressing on a cybex leg press. Then rack pulls, leg extension(limited to top 1/3 of rom on a machine), TKE’s with bands, and reverse lunges were added.

Sometimes you have to fix the firing of the prime movers before you fix the stabilizers.

Yeah, but I though that if you keep using weight machines that eventually the stabilizers will lag behind the prime movers. So, wouldn’t that mean that using weight machines end up predisposing a person to injuries?

[quote]Bull_Scientist wrote:
Yeah, but I though that if you keep using weight machines that eventually the stabilizers will lag behind the prime movers. So, wouldn’t that mean that using weight machines end up predisposing a person to injuries?
[/quote]

yes …

but if you’re injured that ship has sailed already so now you are trying to regain the neuromuscular coordination

[quote]rehanb_bl wrote:

yes …

but if you’re injured that ship has sailed already so now you are trying to regain the neuromuscular coordination[/quote]

Thank you!

Yeah, but I still don’t quite get it. I mean, If you are going to be using machines during the rehab process, then how will you be able to utilize or even maintain the strength and endurance of the stabilizing muscles?

Why are machines good for rehab?

Who said they were? The research doesn’t support this idea. This is a ‘they’ say type of statement. Who are ‘they?’

If you read the research in rehabilitation for typical athletic injuries and painful orthopedic conditions (ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, neck and low back pain) you’ll find one commonality; they didn’t use machines. If they did, they were interspersed with body weight and aerobic exercise.