As a physical therapist I have the pleasure of working with various people from all walks of life who have experienced an array of injuries. Based on my experience, I have developed an 8 step process that each of us go through whether we are recovering from a specific injury or trying to improve our current level of health and fitness. My goal is to provide you with the framework so that you can assess where you are currently at and make changes to help increase your function today and help prevent injury and loss of function in the future.
The following are 8 STEPS that I assess as I am working with individuals in their recovery:
- Mobility: think general movement – walking, bending, reaching – are you able to perform your daily tasks?
- Flexibility: often neglected, but a very important part of full function and injury prevention. Do you stretch on a consistent basis? If your job is primarily sitting you really need to stretch!
- Stability: think core strength, shoulders to hips – when you are using your arms or legs are they supported by your trunk, or does the movement pull your trunk (spine) in all sorts of directions?
- Muscular: most of us work longs days. Can your muscles keep up for a full shift at work? Look at your posture for clues about your muscular endurance.
- Cardiovascular: since your heart is a muscle, it needs working out too.
- Balance: How do you do standing on one foot? How about with your eyes closed?
- Coordination: Walking and chewing gum. Performing a new exercise sometimes takes time to figure out. For example – how do you do with tightening your abs while still breathing correctly?
- Strength: How many pushups, pullups and situps can you do? How long can you hold a wall sit before your legs start shaking?
- Specific Skills: Whether it is a sport or a task you perform for your job – can you perform it correctly and consistently?
Whether you have experienced an injury and are trying to return to your previous level of function, or you are just trying to stay as healthy as possible. Use these 8 steps to assess where you are at and make changes to help you regain and maintain your optimal level of health and fitness.
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Medical Advice Disclaimer
The information included in this blog post and on this site are for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physical therapist-patient relationship.