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Why Exercise Prescription Matters

Recently I treated a patient who came to see me after about a 12 year layoff from his last PT appointment. Since I’ve only been practicing about 5 years, he obviously was new to me 👋

Unlike many patients, he held tight to his original exercise prescription. He continued to perform the original exercises that he was prescribed for his low back pain. This patient noted that he felt like if the exercises helped before, then they should help again!

Unfortunately for him, his exercises weren’t applicable to his current condition, given that it’s been 12 years since his last PT assessment. I’m not saying that 12 years ago those exercises weren’t appropriate…what I am saying is the condition of his spine continued to change, and what was previously applicable, was no longer appropriate.

This patient continued to do an exercise program that was contributing to a potentially dangerous condition of his spine, which was nearly occluding his spinal cord with every repetition. This patient, who became lumbar extension intolerant, continued to believe the old phrase “no pain, no gain.” Luckily somebody came along and told him it probably wasn’t a good thing considering he would get numbness and tingling into both legs with lying on his stomach in the cobra pose. 🐍

My point with his post it’s not to scare anyone, but to make them aware of the importance of exercise prescription.

Exercise prescription should be treated in the same manner that medication is prescribed. Many people have specific exercises that are more or less beneficial for their condition, and they should allow a medical professional to appropriately dose both intensity and frequency of exercise.

If you have been prescribed an exercise program that is cookie-cutter and/or not specific to your current condition, you could be putting yourself at for risk for further injury.

Take the time and do yourself a favor and find a practitioner who will assess your individual needs!

Reach out today if you feel like Better Performance Physical Therapy can help you reach your goals!

Keep moving,


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