The Home Exercise Conundrum

Posted: August 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

Right now, I am fortunate enough to work with people who actually WANT to get better. I think being in school, people try to scare you, always talking about those patients who are trying to pull a fast one on an insurance company or possibly to get a few more weeks out of work. I can honestly say I have yet to encounter that. Not saying it won’t happen, just saying I haven’t experienced it yet.

Anyway, one of the absolutely fantastic things about working with people who want to get better so they can either get on with their lives, function better, or perform better is that they are always asking,

What can I do on my own to get better?

This is like music to my ears. Patients taking an active role in their own care I think, is the ultimate.

Music to (in) her ears

However, I have encountered a problem with this.

Let me explain:

In the office, my goal is always to find that perfect exercise which will really make an immediate change within the patient. However, in those instances where I do find that perfect exercise, I’m often finding that the patient simply does not have the equipment or capability to do it on their own. This all brings me back to my first point: What can they do at home?

Fortunately, the office I am in is equipped with a full array of gym equipment. Really, anything you want. And just as an example, one of my favorite exercises to engage the hip hinge and glute firing pattern has been the pull through, which I talked about in detail here. Often times, people with low back pain can get a 50-60% reduction just by utilizing a loaded hip hinge. These same people first look at you like you have 3 heads because they don’t get how back pain goes away without touching the back. Then, they ask what can I do at home?

And here is where the problem is. Most patients do not have access to either super heavy bands, heavy kettlebells, or any other implement that will allow for the same “training effect” as they get in the office. In a perfect world, loaded hip hinging would be their home exercise. However, this isn’t a perfect world and something I’m still trying to figure out.

Unfortunately for you, I don’t have the answer to this conundrum just yet. This was simply me thinking out loud and presenting an issue I have run into so far.

Again, there are far worse problems to have than patients who actually want to do home care.

Now it’s just a matter of optimizing what they can do in the office AND at home.

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