I recently did a little spot on IFAST University regarding how I approach, assess, and progress people along the physical activity continuum. Read the little intro below, and if you want to watch the video, click on the picture or the link.
As a bonus, I put together a little PDF outlining how I improve the movement variability side of physical activity. If you sign up for IFAST University, you’ll get access to it.
Without further adieu, here is the post.
The Four Step Process to Address Movement Limitations
I’m in the business of creating change, but — as you know — that stuff is HARD TO DO.
How do you simplify the process?
I like to outline things. When thoughts have a directional flow, it’s easier to keep everything straight. So I have to ask myself questions about each and every situation.
What kind of person is in front of me? And what am I going to do with him or her?
In this post, I’ll outline my process of helping people achieve their health and performance goals. We’ll discuss:The 4 areas where we can start creating change
My main area of focus: physical activity
The 4 steps physical activity
Each step from my physical therapy view
Each step from my performance coach view
My progression for mobility
The 3 active mobility tests I use
Testing for arm motion with lower body tests
Runners who get pain after they run 5 miles
Patients who get back pain after they sit for 4 hours
Athletes who can’t play the whole game without pain
…and a bunch of other short examples to relate this system to your own clients
Just when I thought I was out, the clinic pulls me back in.
Though I’m glad to be back. There’s just a different vibe, different pace, and ever-constant variety of challenges that being in the clinic simply provides. This has been especially true working in a rural area. You see a much wider variety, which challenges you to broaden your skillset.
Previously, I was all about getting people in and out of the door as quickly as possible; and with very few visits. I would cut them down to once a week or every other week damn-near immediately, and try to hit that three to five visit sweet spot.
This strategy no doubt worked, and people got better, but I had noticed I’d get repeat customers. Maybe it wasn’t the area that was initially hurting them, but they still were having trouble creep up. Or maybe it was the same pain, just taking much more activity to elicit the sensation.
It became clear that I was skipping steps to try and get my visit number low, when in reality I was doing a disservice to my patients. This was the equivalent of fast food PT—give them the protein, carbohydrates, and fats, forget about the vitamins and minerals.
Was getting someone out the door in 3 visits for me or for them? The younger, big ass ego me, wanted to known as the guy who got people better faster than everyone else. Yet the pursuit became detrimental to the patient’s best interest. There were so many other ways I could impact a patient’s overall health that I simply sacrificed in place of speed.
I only got them to survive without pushing them to thrive.
I see a lot of individuals proudly proclaim how many visits it takes for them to get someone out of pain, but pain relief is only part of the equation. There are so many more qualities we can address before we consider a rehab program a success.
This stark realization has reconceptualized how I structure a weekly rehab program. I now emphasize all qualities necessary to return to whatever task the patient desires, and attempt to inspire them beyond those initial goals.
You want to know what my visit average is right now?
I stopped counting, and started treating.
Let’s look designing the rehab week to take your clients to the next level.