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Tag: activity progression

What is the difference between Phase 3: Activity Progression and Phase 4: Exercise, Maintenance, and Monitoring?

Welcome to the transition zone—phase 3 to phase 4—at Smith Performance Center. This shift marks an important move from rehabilitation to performance. We’re committed to ensuring that our community doesn’t get stuck in a permanent rehab mindset. The switch from rehab mode to peak performance mode can pose challenges, demanding careful consideration and expert guidance. Phase 3 is all about building up tissue capacity, gradually ramping up activity levels, and prioritizing overall well-being. It involves strengthening muscles, alleviating muscle inhibition, closely monitoring responses to increased activity, and addressing any lingering issues stemming from previous inactivity. Essentially, it’s about improving tissue capacity while laying down a solid foundation for what comes next. In contrast, phase 4 signifies a fresh chapter, with a focus on establishing a consistent exercise routine and raising the bar for performance standards. Our goal here isn’t just to ‘move’ but to instill a long-term commitment to fitness

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Physical Therapy Tucson

The 10 Strategy Mistakes of Repetitive Injury When Exercising

Do you want to get back to exercise but keep on getting hurt? The merry-go-round misery of a repeatedly injured exerciser is a common complaint at Smith Performance Center. When someone shows up, our physical therapists listen to a series of injuries that seem to occur every time they get into a workout routine. The exerciser finishes rehab and heads back to their respective sport. The first few days go well, but inevitably the same problem comes back. In our clients’ minds, their body has lost the ability to stay healthy. They believe age is driving the problem, or the joints are shot. They think the activity they choose to do is too vigorous and must be replaced.  These are not the problem.   The cycle of repetitive injury is a strategic mistake. Returning to activity with a strategy We believe in a process called the SPC Phases. A phase at

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The 4 Primary Goals In Strength Training When Struggling With An Injury or Pain

Goal setting is one of the most important, yet tricky aspects of training. Our team believes that goals are secondary to developing habits and systems that you can do day in and day out. We call this an exercise habit and it is a critical aspect of becoming an exerciser. However, goals can help to shape your training, increase motivation, and improve decision-making during the course of workouts.  When you are returning from an injury or dealing with a particularly irritating pain, we believe your goal is very specific. You need to exercise without your body feeling terrible. While this sounds obvious, one of the most common training mistakes our coaches see clients make is too much focus on performance while ignoring a recurring injury or pain.  If you have pain during your running, biking, lifting, etc., you will not achieve performance goals. We strongly believe there are 4 goals

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What are the phases at Smith Performance Center?

At Smith Performance Center, we focus on the main problem of the client. This focused process revealed a recurring set of problems that many of our clients experienced. This led to an overall process we call SPC Phases. There are 5 phases for our clients at Smith Performance Center: Diagnostics and Home Plan Development, Symptom Stabilization, Activity Progression, Exercise, Maintenance, and Monitoring, and Maximize Performance. Each phase consists of a main problem, the common challenges experienced by the clinician, coach, and client when managing your problem, steps to achieve along the way, and a promise for what you get when you complete the phase. We believe a clear process matters to your overall success. We want to explain the problem, common challenges, steps to achieve, and the promise. The Focus On A Problem The focus of a phase is the problem being solved.  In Diagnosis and Home Plan Development, we

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The 5 Common Modifiable Variables For Programming A Great Workout and Program

There are numerous modifiable variables in an exercise program that you can use to improve your workout experience, increase effectiveness, and make the workout more fun. A Modifiable Variable is anything you can manipulate in a workout program (which is literally everything) to change the challenge. It includes exercise choice, movement patterns, exercise pool, alternative exercises available, sets, reps, intensity, rest breaks, prep exercises, warm-up, exercise order, recovery activity, support exercises based on body response, and workout frequency. Our Team believes the most important initial modifiable variable is exercise choice, which is often not used well. This is one of the reasons we start with a movement assessment.  But all of these variables are important and have a huge impact on your experience and the likelihood of success with developing an exercise habit. Our team targets these variables beginning in activity progression and it remains a critical aspect of training

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The 5 Most Useful Tools for Progressing Your Workouts After an Injury

Too many fail in their effort to progress activity after an injury. You arrive at the gym feeling good but later in the day the low back soreness that has been feeling better comes back or the knee pain that seemed to be going away comes back with a vengeance after your second run.  The regression happened even when the workout felt easy and pain-free at the time. Why is this happening? Why is this phase of rehab frustrating?   It’s due to a fundamental mistake or what we call a violation of the rehab standard, which is training at exercise capacity, not tissue capacity. When individuals make this mistake, they start telling themselves stories like ‘I am getting too old,’ or ‘I guess I need to do something with less impact.’ However, the problem is not due to aging or the fact that the body can return to preinjury levels.

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The 7 Tissues to Consider When Progressing Activity After Physical Therapy

The Rehab Standard is an SPC concept that defines when a client has a higher exercise capacity than tissue capacity.   When your tissue capacity is lower than the exercise capacity, the focus of the workout is not how hard you worked out.  It is not how much you sweat or how good of a muscle burn you got. The focus is on the healing tissue and that is was not overloaded, irritated, or provoked.  A violation of the rehab standard can present as pain after the workout or the next day, even if there was no pain during the workout. The key is to focus on tissue capacity in the exercise selection, intensity, volume and the type of tissue injured. We want to look at this last one, the type of tissue injured, in relation to activity progression following an injury. The 7 Tissues to Consider When Progressing Activity Improving

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The 5 Big Problems Facing Clients with Pain and Injury Who Want to Get Back to an Active Lifestyle

There are numerous problems facing people in living an active, healthy life, but it can be difficult to articulate the problem that needs to be solved. Let’s look at two people dealing with low back pain. One person bent over this morning to grab a pencil and now cannot stand up straight. The second person developed back pain years ago and stopped doing certain movements because of discomfort. The pain is still present daily and they use a combination of meds, massage, and chiropractic to keep big flares up away. Their problems are different despite both dealing with low back pain. The solutions are very different. The person who just hurt their back needs a diagnosis and a home plan targeting healing strategies and triggers. This may mean more frequent visits and removing anything that makes their symptoms worse. We will likely see this person a few times per week

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The Injury Types That Are Mismanaged During Activity Progression

The rehab standard is simple; the limit to your exercise is not how hard you can work out, but rather working as hard as possible without going past your tissue capacity.  Our team sees violation of the rehab standard as the most frequent cause of failure during activity progression. A client will feel great and start to progress their workouts. There is no symptoms during the exercise and often no symptoms the same day, but the next day they feel horrible.  We know that in activity progression, you need to understand the type of tissue that is healing, the specific exercise, and volume. We also need to consider the type of injury: chronic, recurrent, and acute.  Chronic Injury For chronic, we mean is has been present for a long time. When you have a chronic injury or chronic pain, there are two issues: your exercise capacity is lower because it

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The 5 Components of Invisible Triggers That Cause Your Rehab Progress to Stall

You keep getting close to feeling good but then fall back into an injury because of a common, but often unrecognized issue – invisible triggers. An invisible trigger is an action or activity that does not seem to be causing your injury to worsen but is actually causing your injury to remain and not heal. If you slammed your finger into a door, you would know the door caused your pain.  Continuing to slam your finger in the door will cause the finger pain to remain. In contrast, an invisible trigger is not as clear as slamming your finger in a door. Patients have an easier time eliminating obvious triggers. This does not happen with invisible triggers. An example would be low back pain triggered by an interaction between two activities: running followed by a bout of sitting. When we investigate running by itself, there is no problem. We repeat

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