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I am often asked by post rehab professionals (PRP) what should they know to get started in post rehab fitness. In most cases they are referring to marketing techniques and materials. Yes, marketing is important but of greater importance is the need to possess the essential skills to work with a wide range of post rehab clients. There are 6 essential skills each post rehab professional must possess. Every post rehab professional must be competent with each of the skills to develop safe and effective programs for their post rehab clients. The six essential post rehab skills are listed below.

1. Take a thorough medical history. A thorough history is vitally important. Go thru each question on the medical history form. Obtaining an accurate medical history and understanding the key facts obtained from the interview will assist with the development of the post rehab program.

2. Take blood pressure using a sphygmomanometer (manual cuff). Take the client’s BP using a manual cuff the first three sessions. The use of the manual cuff allows you to accurately measure the blood pressure. You may use an electronic BP cuff after the first three sessions. Every PRP must be able to assess blood pressure manual. This is an ABSOLUTE must for every PRP.

3. Assess the strength and ROM for each joint and the surrounding muscles. It’s not necessary to have skills with a goniometry but minimally the PRP must have the ability to visually judge joint limitations by asking the client to move the uninjured and injured joint thru a ROM and compare the two is essential. In addition, you must be able to assess strength levels in the major muscles surrounding the join.

4. Assess function using a functional scale. Post rehab is really about improving the “residual functional deficits” remaining after the client’s discharge from physical therapy and/or chiropractic care. Assessing function is more important than assessing joint ROM and strength. Measuring the improvement in function and not just gains in strength or ROM is the key in post rehab. The PRP must select the appropriate functional scale to best measure their client’s functional improvement.

5. Determine the appropriate post rehab protocol to follow when developing the exercise program. Selecting the appropriate protocol whether the client has one or multiple conditions is important. Understanding the post rehab hierarchy and the ability to combine protocols is essential with the complicated post rehab client.

6. Communicate effectively with medical professionals. The PRP must be able to effectively communicate with medical professionals via phone, through written reports and assessment summaries. To truly become part of the rehab spectrum the PRP must convey the improvement or regression of the client to the referral source. Communicating with insurance carriers is also becoming a necessary skill for post rehab professionals.

We have established the first “Post Rehab Skills Checklist”. This checklist will allow PRP’s to measure their skill level and determine the areas in which more training is needed. Please go to to download your copy of the Post Rehab Skills Checklist.

Listen to our latest podcast posting by following the link below.

Best in Fitness,

Dr Mike

Medical Exercise Training Institute
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