Rehabilitation Basics

Cindi Gale

When I was a graduate student of physical therapy, we attended lab classes to practice what we learned in lectures. It was during those labs that I realized not one person in our class of forty students personified textbook ideals.

We were all flawed.

When we had a unit on posture, nobody had perfect posture. During exercise physiology class, some had excellent aerobic capacity, some anaerobic; some had great lifting strength; some good endurance—nobody had it all. We each had weaknesses.

Most of us weren’t even aware of our problem areas. Abnormal felt normal.

Our professors taught us that weaknesses often lead to injury or dysfunction; strong muscles tend to get even stronger, weak muscles get even weaker; when tasks are especially demanding those imbalances make us do compensatory movements that put us at greater risk for injury. We learned patient education and exercise techniques to activate and strengthen underused, atrophied…

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