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Raising the Bar in Rehab

Workout DVDs and Physical Therapy

Published April 7, 2011 12:36 PM by Lisa West

Most of my family, coworkers, friends and even those who read my blogs regularly know that I consider myself to be in fairly good shape. I exercise at least three days a week - usually running, but some weightlifting and abs too. I'm on my feet most of the day. (Remember that post? I wore my pedometer at work and logged almost three miles during the day). My BMI is 20.3. I eat healthy foods, until I find a bag of kettle-cooked BBQ chips. But it's almost swimsuit season and that has given me the extra motivation I needed to try to improve my tone.

Our outpatient clinic has had a few patients come to appointments on Monday mornings with acute strains resulting from exercising over the weekend. Some new, intense workout DVDs recently flooded the market and can be more difficult than consumers are used to. I haven't ever tried a workout DVD as I prefer to run outside or lift weights while listening to country music. I decided to borrow some DVDs from my coworker to see if I would like them and get a better understanding of my patient's injuries.

I started with yoga (I could benefit from some increased flexibility), and after half of that DVD switched to an "arms and shoulder" video (another area that needs some improvement). I was surprised by how quickly the host moves from each exercise to the next. There is definitely a cardio component to the strengthening DVDs, simply because of the pace of the routine. This is something our patients may not be expecting either - they want to have stronger arms but perhaps aren't prepared for the cardiac demand.

I actually stopped both of the exercise videos about halfway through the routines. I was used to yoga in a "Nintendo Wii" format, and the DVD version was such an increase in intensity I didn't feel good. I felt discoordinated and ineffective. The arm and shoulder routine was also too intense. But the thing that bothered me most about both DVDs was the host. I was more irritated by him than inspired. He reminded me of the guys at the gym who make me avoid gyms. I want to feel good during a workout, not like a weak wimp who isn't doing enough - and that's the vibe I got from watching the host. But there are literally thousands of people who respond very well to personalities like that, and that's something I need to remind myself.

Our patients are all going to respond to our role differently, and they all come to their physical therapy sessions with various expectations of how they want or need to be challenged. That's why it is so important to include our patient's personality needs into our interventions in addition to the patient's physical and functional goals.

2 comments

Lisa,

 I recently stumbled across your blog and I am really enjoying it! Your experiences are helping to bring down some of my anxiety about being an entry level clinician. I will be graduating in three weeks from PTA school and am kind of freaking out, but very excited as well. I will definately keep reading!

Danielle April 22, 2011 6:43 AM

Hi Lisa,  

I just stumbled upon your blog one day and wanted to say how much I enjoy reading it! I will be graduating from physical therapy school next month and am absolutely terrified! I have a job in acute care and am looking forward to it but it's so scary thinking that I will no longer be a student! Anyways, I've really enjoyed reading about your experiences and it has kinda taken the edge off! Thanks!

Amy April 10, 2011 3:54 PM

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