Physical therapy has gone through many evolutions of exercise since the start of the field. But the current research is supporting one treatment over all others: exercise should be our medicine for the majority of conditions!
But the type of exercises we are doing has also changed. Gone should be the days where “tight muscles” and “trigger points” are treated with a home stretching routine as we learn more about what actually causes muscle tightness and knotting. Root causes of endurance, weakness, and neurological gating need to be our focus. Each requires different types of exercise and loading. Also, different levels of dosing. How many sets and repetitions within that exercise fit within complex formulas and standards that should be individualized, analyzed, and updated regularly. The cookie cutter “bird dogs for all back pain” and “upper trap stretches for neck pain” should be thrown out the window!
While this research is new, the concept of individualization is a no brainer! We now expect more common and faster recoveries from conservative care. Also, better outcomes from chronic pain and improved understanding of the indications for surgery. This itself can help improve our nation’s less than stellar surgical outcomes!
What does this mean for you as a patient?
It means you should look for therapists who pay close attention to how you are responding to exercise! Those who are adapting loads often and seamlessly throughout your visits, and who construct your program to a personalized level in response to your symptoms and evolution. Not someone following a cookie cutter protocol that starts with a yellow band and progresses seemingly arbitrarily at visit counts! Being an informed patient can help you be the best advocate for yourself and your family! So be on the lookout for how your therapist treats YOU!
If you’re looking for a Physical Therapy company who will tailor to you, give us a call at Hohman Rehab.