Managing Complexity in Sports Rehab
Where do you start when trying to balance complexity, uncertainty, and reductionist mindsets in sports rehab – your Grounding Principles. Lets discuss further:
Control the Controllables in Sports Rehab
We must all reconcile the fact that we can never exert complete control over any given situation. We can only control our reactions and our future plans. Within a rehab context, we must plan for the best case scenario, yet be prepared to pivot if (read: when) obstacles begin to arise.
An agile mindset and an appreciation for non-linear cause-and-effect is a must for all rehabilitative processes.
Rely heavily on foundational truths based in anatomy, physiology, and physics. When in doubt, do not seek to add additional complexity to a situation. Lean heavily on agreed upon and well studied information prior to anecdotal or novel tactics and beliefs. Start by assessing the macro (big picture physical deficits, goals, subjective readiness), then steadily work inward toward a specific course of action as the terrain comes into focus. If this approach is not working after a period of time, then it may be warranted to experiment with more nuanced or novel approaches.
Leverage Intelligent Redundancy and accountability within your training and rehab processes.
Do not rely exclusively on subjective reports, gut instincts, past successes, or emotion. Your process should include a variety of objective metrics that counteract our natural cognitive biases.
Metrics may include:
- Range of Motion (ROM)
- Isolated strength measures
- Compound strength outputs (weights lifted, velocity moved)
- Limb symmetry Index (LSI)
- Sprint and Change of Direction Testing
- Jump Testing
Provide a birds-eye-view of your process to your client.
Explain where they are now, where they would like to be, and how you plan to assist them in reaching their desired self. Leverage both short and long-term goals to keep your clients engaged, motivated, and accountable.
-Dr. Michael Reinhardt, PT, DPT, OCS
Grounding Principles = Set Your Foundation.
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