ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES AND METHODOLOGIES FOR REHABILITATION

  • A. Pedotti

Abstract

Frequently athletes are affected by lesions to muscles, joints, bone and nervous systems. The medical treatment and the subsequent rehabilitation in most cases are able to lead to a complete recovery. TWO points should be considered: a) the designing of most appropriate training and rehabilitation procedures should take into account the specific characteristics of the athlete and of his specialization. b) The recovery, which could be considered acceptable for a "normal subject", not always is completely appropriate for an athlete who has to face superior motor performances. c) A detailed solution is needed in order to decide when and how to restart the normal activity of training and full performance. In this frame, the traditional analysis of correlation between the localisation of the lesion and the deficit of function appears insufficient to obtain the maximum potential recovery, given a certain damage. Only by taking into account a quantitative multifactorial analysis of the motor function in relation with the lesion and the expected recovery, optimal resulta could be reached from medical rehabilitation and training. This implies several steps: - a detailed functional evaluation of each athlete; - a continuous monitoring of the athlete's progress / and consequent adaptation of training itself. In this context, a detailed multifactor analysis assumes a central role. The traditional evaluation performed by visual inspection appears insufficient for these purposes. ' Kinematics, dynamics, neuromuscular events and correlations among these variables must be considered in a quantitative way. The use of advanced technology (transducers, microprocessors, etc.) can provide useful means; because it is possible to develop very complex instrumentations (complex in terms of variables measured and data processing), which require relatively easy tests, feasible also in clinical environment or gymnasium.