Though the United States has one of the best rehabilitation models in the world for progressing individuals forward after becoming injured or chronically ill, it would still be more useful if the patients continued conditioning themselves after being discharged from physical therapy. Upon discharge, the vast majority of individuals discontinue their efforts which are needed to sustain the progress that they have made throughout their recovery process. The patient then tends to not only physically regress, but can also cognitively regress.
Eventually, patients will need to return to undergo further physical therapy treatments due to declining independence and lack of knowledge regarding which exercises to perform safely to sustain the gains they have made. This results in client frustration and poor, if any, motivation. As the old saying goes, “if you don’t use it, you lose it”. This is even more apparent in individuals confined to wheelchairs because most lose the gains that they have achieved at a much faster rate than more able-bodied individuals if they do not continue a consistent exercise regimen following physical therapy.
So, why do many patients who are making all sorts of progress in their recovery simply stop once their traditional therapies end? Below is a list of scenarios that I have witnessed:
1) Too small of a space to exercise, let alone maneuver a wheelchair.
2) Cannot perform the exercises independently because they lack the knowledge and understanding of how to exercise using correct biomechanics.
3) Individuals such as caregivers, nurses aids, and family member(s) who are not properly educated on how to perform exercise regimens are expected to be the client’s “trainers”.
4) Lack of resources (i.e. resistance bands, exercise balls, medicine balls, mats, etc.) at the clients residence prevents him/her from participating.
5) Lack of confidence in knowing if what they are doing during their exercise regimen is correct and/or safe.
6) Lack of motivation often times because of the above factors, and the fact that they have to battle an un-motivating environment.
After reading the above complications, there is clearly an issue not being addressed within our rehabilitation chain of care. That is, what is done with patients who have been discharged from a traditional physical therapy program, but still need further physical conditioning and education on how to exercise properly in order to continue progressing onward? How is the patient to prevent from relapsing into previous or other related therapies, and ultimately reach their rehabilitation goals?
The answer is a “Functional Exercise Specialist”, as this professional focuses on picking up where physical therapy ends. Functional exercise is defined as:
A specialized program for disabled, injured, or chronically ill individuals, consisting of physical exercises designed for specific goals and outcomes that promote total body health & wellness, and progress the individual to a greater level of independence.
As you can see after reading the definition of “functional exercise”, this niche combines the exercise element with therapy, fulfilling the middle ground between a Physical Therapist and a Personal Trainer. A FES works on total body conditioning, focusing on one’s overall health & wellness. A Physical Therapist takes care of the patient during their acute stage(s) of the rehab process, typically focusing on the specific injured area(s) of the body vs. the total client. A FES is a nice compliment to a Physical Therapist, as they have the ability to accelerate and continue the client’s gains that they have made in physical therapy once the client has been discharged from the physical therapy program.
Until America’s insurance industry recognizes the difference a FES can make in a client’s rehab program, the industry will be charged millions of unnecessary dollars on return trips to physical therapy. The uninformed insurance industry could be investing their money into a more cost effective model. Once an individual is appropriately discharged from physical therapy and ready to continue to move forward with a FES, they will then gain an ever greater level of independence and learn to maintain the gains in their health they have made for the rest of their lives.
سبحان الله اللہ پاک کا معجزہ دیکھیں مکمل ویڈیو میں اور لائک کر کے شیر ضرور کریں
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