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Medical Exercise Specialists are working with more clients and the numbers are continuing to grow. With the changes in insurance reimbursement, many clients are seeking medical exercise training services but are not quite ready for such. Each client presenting for medical exercise training services must complete a screening to determine if they are ready for MET. The screening process will identify “RED FLAGS”. The Red Flags may result in exacerbation of the client’s symptoms.

Red flags indicate the client is NOT “medically-stable” nor ready to begin exercise outside a clinical setting.  “Medically-stable” means the client can tolerate 30 minutes of exercise and symptoms such as pain, swelling, etc have been stabilized. In your screening look for these Red Flags:

  1. Radiating Pain
  2. Numbness/Tingling
  3. Loss of Range of Motion
  4. Loss of Function
  5. Swelling
  6. Night Pain
  7. Chest Pain/Shortness of Breath
  8. Open Wounds
  9. Abnormal Vital Signs

Though exercise may have a positive impact on each of these items, it may also have a significant negative impact. It is not within the scope of practice of the medical exercise professional to make this determination. Identification of “Red Flags” means to proceed with caution, whether that means referral of the client back to their physician or therapist or the modification of the client’s exercise program. Red Flags must always be respected.

As insurance reimbursement for rehabilitation continues to drop, more clients will seek MET services. Many of these clients have exhausted their insurance benefits. Their next step is medical exercise training. Pay close attention for Red Flags. When you see these…..proceed with caution or refer.

For more on building your MET practice please download a FREE copy of the “Medical Exercise Training 101 Ebook” at


Medical Exercise Training Institute
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