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Many of post rehab professionals are seeing a significant increase in the number of clients seeking medical exercise services (MES). This increase in clients has caused a migration of more involved conditions into the post rehab facility. The diversity of conditions requires post rehab professionals to categorize clients to assure proper post rehab programming and determination of ‘appropriateness’ for exercise.

The categories below will help you classify the clients participating in Medical Exercise Services. All MES clients must be screened when entering the program.Within the classifications below we must first determine the status of the client in three areas: 1) functional status; 2) referral status and 3) medical status.The status of the client must be determined regardless of the categorization.

Status Categories

Functional Status: indicates the client’s functional capacity based on the 11 components of function.

Referral Status: indicates if a medical professional is the source of the client’s participation on the MES program. It is highly recommended, but not mandatory, all MES clients are referred by a medical professional.

Medical Status: indicates the client’s exercise tolerance based on intensity of ‘red flags’, time since injury, onset or surgery.

Client Categories

Post Rehab – These clients are within one year of onset condition, injury and/or surgery. These clients have completed physical therapy and/or chiropractic care. A referral from a medical professional is required to enter the MES program due to the recent history (1 year) of medical intervention. Examples of conditions in this category include: ACL reconstruction, total joint replacement, rotator cuff tear and laminectomy.

Medical Exercise – These clients are beyond one year from condition onset and/or injury or surgery. The majority of these clients have completed physical therapy and/or chiropractic care more than one year prior to entering MES services. Due to the timeline since medical intervention, a referral is not required but preferred if the client has no red flags. Examples of conditions in this category include total joint replacements, neurological disorders, chronic lumbar conditions, etc.

Corrective Exercise – This is an emerging area in the fitness industry. These clients have muscular or postural imbalances. These clients do not have a history of recent injury and/or surgery. If progress is not seen with corrective exercise techniques in 3-4 sessions, the client should be referred for medical assessment. Examples in this category include winging scapula, chronic lumbar dysfunction or ‘Crossed Syndrome’.

Functional Maintenance – This category will grow significantly in the next 10 years. These clients need exercise to maintain their level of function for activities of daily living. A medical professional refers many of these clients. Common conditions include osteoarthritis, neurological conditions, hypertension, and diabetes.

The categorization of clients allows post rehab professionals to better manage and develop exercise programs for MES participants. Please join us on Tuesday, August 2nd, 6pm ET/3pm PT for Post Rehab Profits & Protocols when we discuss ‘How Do I Classify My Medical Exercise Clients?’.

Click the link below to join the teleseminar:


Medical Exercise Training Institute
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