What is Generic Physical Therapy? It is when a P.T. office or doctor prescribes generic, minimal, and lazy routines for their patients. The problem with this behaviour? It results in people not making progress with their injuries.
THE RED FOLDER TREATMENT
When I went through physical therapy for an injury, I had the opportunity to experience multiple physical therapist offices. At each and every one of them, I received a packet of exercises that I was prescribed to do on a daily basis supposedly to make me stronger. I ended up with many virtually identical packets which I dubbed “The Red Folder”.
Most of these exercises were basic calisthenics or band exercises and generic. As an athlete, even in an injured state, I could perform these with ease. Many didn’t even apply to my injury. These were lazy, canned routines that everyone from me, to the arthritic grandma who was exercising beside me received.
THE DOCTORS WHO SAY “IF IT HURT’S, DON’T DO IT.”
Unless you are under the care of a sports medicine doctor or one that in an athlete, chances are you will hear “If it hurts, don’t do it.”
Many of these Docs don’t understand that this is not an option. Tell a powerlifter not to squat and all you’re doing is pissing them off. Instead of telling an athlete to give up their passion, they need to be told how they can fix themselves make them whole again.
FIRST, INJURY PREVENTION
Injury prevention is the best option for the athlete. Injuries can at best take away time from your passion, or worse yet leave you crippled for life. Practicing the following can help you stay injury free.
1: Work Remedial Positions
Go back to the basics. Sometimes we athletes jump ahead so far that we lose sight of the important fundamentals of a movement.
Take the Barbell Squat, as we train with higher weights our squat depth suffers, becoming higher until ineffective. Taking the time to warm up properly using similar fundamental exercises such as the Goblet Squat or using just the bar and exploring the bottom position may help an athlete break their bad habits.
2: Do Corrective Exercises
These include mobility and stretching, as well as accessory exercises that strengthen the supporting muscles.
3: Focus on Recovery
Take the time to recover. If your sleep schedule is suffering, your training will suffer also.
4: Eat for health
If you eat crap, you will train like crap. There’s no magic pill that will fix this. Have a modicum of self-control and put down the beer and nachos.
5: Get a Coach
Most injuries in training occur because of poor form or going too hard too fast. An experienced and knowledgeable coach will see things you don’t and help you keep injury free.
SECOND, IF YOU ARE HURT SEE THE RIGHT PEOPLE
Many get hurt and go to the local clinic. The doc there is rushed and orders you to rest, take ibuprofen, and maybe give you a shot to take down inflammation. Hardly will an athlete meet a doc that specializes in their situation.
1: Find a SPORTS MEDICINE Doctor. These professionals are experienced with an athlete’s lifestyle, injuries, and needs.
2: Work with a good PHYSICAL THERAPY Office that specializes in sports injuries.
3: If you are working with a COACH or TRAINER, you should make sure they are aware of any ailments and limitations.
Don’t let generic therapy routines and lazy doctors keep you from returning to competition. Build a team that wants you to succeed as much as you do.
~Coach Rick Tarleton