Get A Grip: Utilizing Irradiation During Injury And Rehab


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Get A Grip: Utilizing Irradiation During Injury And Rehab

Upper body injuries can significantly limit training progress and create strength imbalances between the affected and unaffected limbs. Although complete rest is often required and necessary following injury we often need to start stimulating the nervous system surrounding the injured limb sooner than later.

With acute cervical, shoulder, elbow and wrist injuries loaded and dynamic upper body movements may have to stay off the training menu for a period of time. However, you can still preserve neurological drive to the injured limb by incorporating isometric grip work into the strength training program. Often during pushing/pulling drills I’ll have the athlete grip an object like a tennis ball or push-up on the injured side to drive irradiation through the limb.

Sherrington’s Principle of Irradiation is the idea that a hard working muscle will create a neurological overflow to neighboring muscle groups (forearm flexors/extenders, bicep/tricep, rotator cuff, deltoid) thereby stimulating it’s motor units. This can be a tremendously useful tool to create a non-provocative training technique while returning athletes from injury.

In my experience at @bodybyboyle the combined effect of irradiation and neurological/hormonal crossover from training the uninjured body parts can significantly reduce healing times and improve training outcomes during rehab.

Try this approach out for yourself and let us know about some of your experiences returning athletes to play following injury!