Updated: Dec 3, 2020
I first heard the idea of Rehab = Training from Charlie Weingroff...and once I heard it, everything finally clicked. Physical therapy is simply manipulating movement and loading variables to achieve a desired movement goal.
I know what you are thinking....DUH! HOW COME YOU DIDN’T SEE THAT RIGHT AWAY?????
I didn‘t see it initially because in physical therapy school we are taught to evaluate and diagnose complex conditions, and then prescribe VERY CONSERVATIVE exercises. But here is the thing about prescribing conservative exercises...it only works for a VERY SHORT period of time.
Well....because Rehab = Training.
If you want the body to achieve a specific movement goal, then you need to stimulate the body with movements and load that FORCE it to adapt.
Let’s use an example to highlight what all those fancy words really mean.
Jon strained his rotator cuff playing tennis. He goes to physical therapy and is given a few LIGHT exercises that use bands and are initially a little bit challenging. After a few weeks, he is a little bit stronger and those exercises are no longer hard. His pain is gone and his baseline level of strength is satisfactory. He immediately returns to playing tennis and finds out his shoulder is still hurting him when he is serving.
Why does his shoulder still hurt?
Because the LOAD of the exercises he was doing was MUCH LESS than the LOAD of playing tennis. To properly prepare for tennis, Jon would need to rebuild his strength in a SPECIFIC manner that mimics the MOVEMENTS and LOADS that are commonly seen in tennis. THIS IS WHAT PHYSICAL THERAPY SHOULD‘VE PREPARED JON FOR!
Rehab = Training.
If you are recovering from an injury, you need to make sure that your exercises aren’t TOO CONSERVATIVE. Obviously they cant be too hard...but if they are too easy, they are not preparing you for a healthy sustainable return to your favorite activities.
Best of luck on your health journey! If you want to learn more about how Blue Iroin Physio can help you live a pain free life, click here, to set up a call with me! Please feel free to reach out at any time with questions! I’m always happy to help.
Best, Dr. Dave