Photos by Star Sabroso
“Prevention is better than cure” or “proactive medicine” is a mantra that Francis Diano DPT, MCMT, COMT, OCS, SCS (talk about multiple sports medicine accreditations, huh?) strongly believes, that’s why he would rather see his clients in between or after trainings, games and/or races rather than when they are down and out with an injury. However, he is also the doctor on call for minor to major injuries – I should know, I met him because I injured my knee a few months back – but as stated earlier, he would rather not.
As the name says, Pace Prehab and Recovery specializes on prehab, not rehab. They perform recovery procedures and tests on their clients who are mostly marathon runners, cyclists, swimmers, those who do all three (triathletes), basketball and football players, and other athletes, but also cater to the regular Joe who simply wants to address some physical issues. These tests identify inefficiencies and tendencies that could potentially lead to an injury and address them before it becomes a more serious issue. According to Doc Francis, it’s harder to bounce back from an injury, but by doing prehab, these injuries can be prevented by highlighting deficiencies that could become a major problem later down the road.
Take the test they perform on you on the treadmill, for example. They analyze your running while at your healthy state and not during your injured state so that, with the help of some DorsaVi wearable sensors (the most accurate in the market, and they’re the only one that carries them in Asia), they can observe your natural tendencies as you run for a few minutes. Do you favor or put more pressure on one side when you run? Do you turn in too much or turn out when you run? Which muscle groups are working while you’re hitting the ground? Or if you already have a tight hamstring issue and have a slight pain on your back while running, these issues and deficits will be addressed and thus improve your performance and limit your downtime. These tests, thanks to the sensors, take out a lot of the guesswork when trying to identify issues that your body is trying to tell you.
Another test they do in the clinic is for the cyclists (or triathletes) on the bike. As the athlete spins, Doc Francis can see how much power and power distribution one is putting out thanks to the computer hooked up to that bike. (P.S. -- If you can, bring in and hook up your own bike, for more accuracy in size and fit.) Again, this technology takes out all the guesswork and so that they can correct issues on the fly before the athlete gets hurt.
Of the countless prehab and recovery services they offer though, would perhaps be the recovery boots. I was still semi-waddling like a penguin when I tried them out, thanks to my first ever 21-kilometer race on the skyway with my legs feeling like logs and my quads feeling like they were made of iron and steel combined. A recovery run and a soak on a hot tub may have helped ease the soreness for a little bit, but it was only the recovery boots that made my legs feel fresh and good as new.
The recovery boots act like a massage on your legs but they give nomadic sequential pressure from the bottom to the top, then deflate over and over again to release lactic acid on your legs and speed up recovery on your legs by 70 percent. The pressure on your legs as the boots “massage” and release lactic acid is more consistent and less intrusive than a massage, hence making the boots a lot better than a regular massage. Wearing the boots will make you feel like the marshmallow man, and there may be a ticklish feeling at first but you will get used to it and the pressure. These boots are perfect for athletes who use their legs or lower extremities a lot, like people who squat or run a lot. They also have two other versions of these for two other parts of your body. One is the recovery core, which focuses more on your core – from above your knees till under your chest. And the last piece is the Recovery Arms which are perfect for swimmers or anyone who does a lot of upper extremities work. You might feel rather lethargic while in the recovery lounge as your deoxygenated blood is being pushed up, but once you take the boots off, you’ll be rejuvenated, reenergized and ready to train again.
It was my first time to come across the whole concept of prehab because of Pace and I like it. It makes a lot of sense, as they just want to help you avoid having downtime during an injury and instead just be able to give optimal performance in every game or race. Whether you are as active as I am or not, I think everyone should check this place out and get analyzed before any injury strikes them down.
Pace Prehab and Recovery is on the 16th Floor, MDI building, 39th cor 9th Street, Uptown BGC, Taguig.
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