Have you ever got done with physical therapy and realized that you barely did ANYTHING through your 12 sessions that insurance covered?

When I asked a skateboarder if his physical therapy helped him skate again, he said “all we did was squat, and we never got to jumping or skating.”

So what are some of the ways that YOU can progress and control your own rehab process?

Here are my top tips and tricks that I use when creating the rehabilitation for the patients in my office!

Tip #1: Know your baseline!

           What I mean by this: many times someone wants to get back into “running” after an injury, and they are unsure of how to go about that. Can they go run 5 miles tomorrow, or just 1?          

Can they run outside on trails?  Or just on a straight and solid track?

   First thing you have to know is your PAIN FREE starting line. What can your body tissues handle after that injury?

           So START SUPER STUPIDLY LOW AND SLOW. Like, if you have run 6 miles per day in the past, start with half a mile. And see how you feel that day and THE ENTIRE NEXT 24 HOURS.

           If you feel good, no sign of re-injury, no loss in range of motion, no other compensation pains, go ahead and increase from that baseline!      

     EXAMPLE of what NOT to do: Sarah went back to dancing after not dancing for 6 months and she danced for 3 HOURS. Of course it hurt the next day!

Tip #2: Always progress ONE thing at a time.

           There are several ways to progress most activities/exercises.

           Add time. Add speed. Add load (weight).

           Do NOT add more than one at a time. Do not run 1 mile, then run a FASTER  2 miles. You will not know if the speed or the time running was the provoking factor.

           DON’T do what David did: he had a flare up when increasing his rpm and time in one session- and it took us 2 weeks to get back on track.

Tip #3: When progressing, 10% rule.

           When you go to progress one of the above- try to aim for NO MORE than a 10% jump.

           If you danced for 10 minutes, go up to 11-12 minutes, not 20. Take the smaller jumps.

           This is especially noticeable with adding load (weight).

Colorful kettlebells.

Previously injured tissues usually have a new limit for load or tension, and a muscle memory of the injury and can be re-aggravated just by adding too much load without proper preparation for that load.

Tip #4: Listen to ALL parts of your body.

           As you start to get back into activities after injuries or time off, sometimes you will experience major joint and movement changes.

           If you sprain an ankle, you may have changes in how your ankle, knee, hip, AND back all function.

           Make sure to try all activities again and really listen to EVERY part of your body, not just the injured area. We want to make sure you are not compensating by using other joints to avoid the previous injury.

These are my FAVORITE ways to re-introduce activities safely and effectively, so please put these principles to work!!

As always, reply with any questions or comments- and I will give you some great information on what “normal aches and pains” mean next Tuesday!!