Personal Training In Injury Rehabilitation

Personal Training In Injury RehabilitationPersonal Training In Injury Rehabilitation

Coming back from a physical injury, be it from a car accident, a sports injury, or recovering from a surgical procedure or illness, can be a long and frustrating process. It seems like it’s two steps forward and a long slide back. It’s tempting to hurry the process and to push yourself beyond what is necessary and often safe.

Utilizing a personal trainer in your recovery can help you recover safely, keep your motivation up and ensure that the direction you’re going will lead to a recovery that will get you back up to speed as soon as possible.

What to Look for When Hiring a Personal Trainer for Rehab

  • Education – Search around to find a personal trainer with certifications and/or degrees, such as a Kinesiology Degree.
  • Nutrition Plan to Go Along With Exercise – Your personal trainer must focus on other things along with your physical needs. Nutrition plays a crucial part in fitness altogether and is just as important as the exercise plan.
  • Examples of Movements a Personal Trainer Should Implement: Strength Training / Balance and Coordination Exercises / Stretches
  • Requires an authorization from your doctor before starting any program with you
  • Asks about any other treatments you’re undergoing – Some personal trainers prefer you go thru physical therapy first so you’ll understand your injury, your needs and what to expect
  • Doesn’t act like your doctor – Your personal trainer is not a physician so it’s very important that you keep that distinction in mind.

1Handling a client with an injury begins with a conversation – some questions you should look for:

  • What does it feel like?
  • When does it bother you?
  • Does it bother you while you’re at rest?
  • Do you experience pain during specific motions or activities?
  • How did the injury occur?
  • What’s been your recent diet?
  • What are your stress levels?
  • What is the state of your overall health?
  • What medications are you on?

Your Responsibilities

  • Talk with Your Doctor – One of the first things to do before hiring a personal trainer is to have a conversation with your doctor regarding your injury, your procedure, etc. What should you expect in regards to pain? What is the best way to strengthen? Are there exercises or movements you need to avoid? Will your doctor prescribe physical therapy? Ask for a note from your doctor to give to your personal trainer.
  • 2Keep Perspective – Moving too quickly, doing movements that aren’t good for your injury, can lead to injuring your injury, which will set you back physically and emotionally. It also can prolong your healing time.
  • Stick with the Program – Not following the approved program can also lead to further injury, which, again, will negatively affect your rehabilitation. Slowly progressing will safely build your strength and promote your healing.

1 “If a Client Comes to You With an Injury, How do You Handle the Situation?” Jamie S. Dreyer

2 “Pain and Injury,” Alison Berke

Further Reading

Kisner C, Colby LA. “Therapeutic exercises: foundations and techniques.” 3rd ed. FA Davis Company; 1996

Nikander R, Mälkiä E, Parkkari J, et al. “Dose-Response Relationship of Specific Training to Reduce Chronic Neck Pain and Disability.”  Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006 Dec;38(12):2068–2074. PubMed #1714631

Nielsen PK, Andersen LL, Olsen HB, et al. “Effect of physical training on pain sensitivity and trapezius muscle morphology.”  Muscle & Nerve. 2010 Jun;41(6):836–44. PubMed #20513105.


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Post by Andrea Rogers