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Friday, July 1, 2022

Setting Benchmarks for Recovery: An Important Skill

When patients come in for treatment, they can have a list of what they can not do. I try to get them to focus on what they can do comfortably right now in the 0-2 range. It is important for me to know and it is the first part of our important benchmarks. Therefore, it is important to know that a runner can run 5 minutes every other day, a basketball player can shoot 100 free throws a day, and a ballet dancer can work pain-free at the barre.

And also cross training should be part of this benchmark establishing. If they are a runner, can a bike somewhat and swim and even do elliptical to help with their overall conditioning. Staying in shape biking has proved invaluable for so many sports while we cross train.

And then he comes to the exercises, or the many treatment modalities. What can they do as part of the rehabilitation this month that can be helpful to know. Maybe they can balance on 1 foot for 1 minute. Maybe they can do 2 sets of Level One theraband or resistant cords for their tendinitis, but only 5 reps each. Maybe they can only go to 10° flexed when trying to fully extend their knee. The amount of total resistance, range of motion limitation, time of an exercise, and sets and reps that can be done can all begin to set our important benchmarks.

The patient comes in at the beginning of July, like today, you can begin to find out what they can and can't do at present. As you set your benchmarks, you can help them measure progress in the future. Some of my programs will take a good year like when I treat an Achilles rupture. You can set benchmarks much like attaining goals. It is definitely rewarding as you pass each benchmark.

One example I will use, is a common situation of an athlete coming in with crutches and a removable boot. As a get better, the benchmarks to be used will be first getting rid of the crutches, then weaning off the boot, then wearing normal shoes for 2 weeks, then starting to do sport specific drills (basketball player shooting free throws), then beginning a walk run program, then beginning sprinting or cutting, etc. etc.

I've attach one of my videos on posterior tibial strengthening. I was very precise in having the patient progressed through a comprehensive rehabilitation program. I set benchmarks by outlining the different exercises to be progressed through. Please watch the video to get the idea. I hope this is helpful for you. Even if another body part is injured, you should be able to get the right idea of bench marks and goal setting. Rich

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.