Optimi’s approach to Rehab

Who are Optimi?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have the support that elite athletes have? What is it like to have access to a team of experts – top strength and conditioning coaches, world class clinicians? How do they structure their exercise? How are their injuries and recovery managed? Have you ever been frustrated by long waiting lists or feeling like you can’t find a level of care that truly understands your needs? Optimi exists to change this. Founded by a team of top clinicians and scientists, our vision is to make elite level exercise science and therapy accessible to everyone. 

You can read more about our founders and the background to Optimi here.

Optimi is a digital health platform that brings the highest level of exercise science and therapy to you in an easy to digest format. Driven by experts in the field of rehabilitation, sports science and data science, Optimi will help you to improve your health and conditioning and manage joint pain and injuries. 

We’re starting with treatment strategies but our ultimate goal is to prevent, rather than treat and our product will evolve with you to achieve this

Why do we exist?

The sports medicine world has developed at a rapid pace over the last decade, with more and more research available to clinicians to guide the treatment of injuries. However this research and the learnings gained in professional sports can often take years to reach the general population. Our goal is to make this knowledge accessible to everyone so that we can enable people to improve their health and keep doing the activities you love with the guidance of experts.

How do we develop our programmes?

Historically decisions on how to progress rehabilitation exercises and when to return to play/competition were largely based on time milestones. For example, if you experienced a pulled hamstring you might be automatically given a four to six week time frame out and away from participating in your sport or exercise. Once you got to six weeks, you’d be given the all clear to go back regardless of your level of fitness. There are two obvious issues with this:

1)     Not all injuries are equal – a pulled hamstring in one person doesn’t match that of another. To group every hamstring injury with one recovery time frame is to do an injustice to the individual. There are many factors that influence the recovery period and so going purely on speculative time milestones may hold back some people longer than needed, and on the flip side it may be rushing someone else back and putting them at risk of re-injury.

2)     If you’re not measuring, you’re guessing – a snappy adage in the sports medicine world but a key point. If you are going purely on time frames then how can you know how someone is progressing? We need objective measures to know how someone will tolerate a new level of exercise and when they are “game ready”; if you can’t walk then you shouldn’t run!

 

Optimi’s rehab and training programmes eliminate the unknowns. Through the application of the latest sports science and medical knowledge you will have criteria-based training programmes. This means that you can only graduate to the next level of rehab or training programme once you have met certain criteria that don’t relate to time frames. This makes the programme individualised to every user. For example, suppose Runner A and Runner B both have symptoms of runner’s knee and start their rehab at the same time. After two weeks Runner A can perform a bodyweight squat in full range and no pain but Runner B, who has performed rehab at the same level to this point, can’t. Runner A can then unlock the next level of rehab but Runner B can’t. There is good reason for this: performing inappropriate rehab exercises is likely to at least stall your recovery, if not worsen your condition. With Optimi’s approach you have to demonstrate the ability to progress, so you know that when you do get to the next level, you arrive there in a condition to do so.

A criteria-based approach has another advantage too, it can see you return to your sport or exercise quicker than expected. Often there is a concern about going back to competition / play after an injury for fear of reinjuring. With criteria-based progressions you know that you are at a level fit enough to play BECAUSE you are hitting the fitness targets required to compete. This will give you confidence and avoid delayed returns. This is how elite athletes are assessed, monitored, treated and returned back into competition. Optimi wants to give you this same advanced level of care.

Who can benefit from Optimi?

In a word, everyone.

Yes, Optimi is providing a level of rehab and training prescribed from the learnings from elite athletes, but that doesn’t mean you have to be young and sporty. Our app is designed specifically to assess what your base level is and then provide you with the appropriate exercise plan from which to start. From here you will be guided through the levels as far as you need to go.

Just want to walk to the shops without knee pain? Optimi can help. Want to get over a persistent knee injury that’s limited you for years? Optimi is for you. Want to improve your marathon time? Yep you’ve guessed it, Optimi can give you the support you need. Whilst the programmes change, the principles do not. 

Optimi is making outstanding care available to everyone on your terms.

Additional benefits of Optimi:

Good health and wellbeing is much more than just selecting the right exercises at the right time. A healthy lifestyle and recovery can be influenced so much by a wide variety of things. This is well understood in elite sport and an athlete therefore has access to a full range of experts: physiotherapists, physicians, strength and conditioning coaches, dietitians and even mental health practitioners. This is why Optimi also provides you with evidence-based guidance on topics such as:

  • Nutrition: In a world full of diet fads it is easy to get lost about how to manage your diet. Having a trusted source of information that can guide you to health goals you desire and can bring peace of mind as well as success.
  •  Mindset and mindfulness: “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, and a hell of heaven” – John Milton. In a world carrying more and more pressures, finding a way to gain headspace and stillness is so important. The effect that injuries can have on self confidence and stress levels is enormous. That’s why they need addressing, and Optimi doesn’t overlook the importance of this.
  • Rest and recovery: Stress + Rest = Growth. A simple equation but often more is viewed as better. Do these exercises once a day? I’ll do them three times and get better quicker! No. To get the body to adapt we have to stress it (exercise for example) but then we have to have a period of rest to allow the small amount of normal damage that comes with exercise to repair and for the tissues to adapt positively. But rest doesn’t just mean sitting down on your backside, rest and recovery should be an active process not a passive one. Optimi guides you through how to get the most from your recovery days.
  • General health and wellbeing: When bringing all these elements together, Optimi can help you achieve a new level of healthy lifestyle. It empowers you to take control of your life from the convenience of your own home. You’ll have elite level information available to you at the touch of a button, with supportive guidance ensuring you meet your goals.

 

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