Loading Injured Patients: Good or Bad?

The typical patient that we see at One80 Physical Therapy® already has some type of injury that they are coming in for rehabilitation. We do have patients that we see for tune-ups, most of which are athletes. However, the overwhelming majority of our patients are coming in with an injury: post-surgical or post-accident. Our patient age ranges from 9-year-olds, up to 80-90-year-old medicare patients. So the question is when should we, and can we load these patients?

What it Means to Load a Patient

With a typical patient, we want to load them because what we are trying to do is get muscles to contract normally in order to let them function normally. Loading a patient is going to increase all of the co-contraction. For example, if we’ve got somebody who has knee pain, and we put them under a 25-pound load with either a kettlebell or dumbbell and they ariel squat pain-free. This tells us that if we get more muscles to kick in and more muscles to contract and facilitate, their motion begins to get better and they function normally.

How to do it Safely

So the quick answer to that question is yes, we want to load every patient that comes in as much as we possibly can. Of course, if we have somebody coming in with weight-bearing precautions, obviously we are going to heed those precautions. We rarely ever give patients exercises in either supine prone or quadruped because that’s not functionally loading them as they would be during their sports, their work whatever their activities of daily living are. We want to simulate ADL and sports specific activity as much as we possibly can, and that’s really hard to do without loading somebody. Just because somebody has pain without load doesn’t mean we can’t load them. After we treat them, their pain should be lower, their range of motion should be higher and their strength and stability should be better. We always want to load our patients as much as we possibly can.

If you are experiencing pain and would like to learn how One80 Physical Therapy® can help you get back in the game of life, call (970) 593-9300 today for a FREE CONSULTATION. Let us show you why One80 is the opposite of everything you’ve tried before.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply