Regional One Health’s Center for Rehabilitative Medicine has a new option for patients who finish physical therapy and want to return to the activities they love in a safe, healthy manner.
The Post-Rehab Wellness Program brings physical therapists and a certified personal trainer to your team to get you back to work, sports, hobbies, etc. After completing therapy, patients set up a consultation with a trainer, who helps them move forward the right way.
It’s a new concept, but the reasons it works are tried-and-true:
It combines the benefits of training and therapy
Program Coordinator Kenneth Robinson is a certified personal trainer who has helped athletes enhance their skills and patients build strength and agility after illness or injury. His expertise is combined with therapists’ medical knowledge of how to heal and prevent injury.
“It’s a great partnership and a great vision. Therapists provide an assessment of a patient’s health, medications, restrictions, etc.; and a trainer molds a program for their level to help them advance,” Robinson said. “I haven’t seen a program like this anywhere else – Regional One Health is leaps and bounds ahead of other programs.”
It addresses the gap between therapy and normal activity
Patients leave therapy feeling good, but may be nervous about resuming exercise, even though doing so will keep them healthy. The Post-Rehab Wellness Program removes that catch-22.
“We want patients to continue on a positive path after therapy, and they don’t always know how to do that,” said Regional One Health Outpatient Rehabilitation Manager Ambrosia Scott, DPT, LAT, CCI. “Kenneth serves as a guide and makes sure they don’t hurt themselves. They can ask him, ‘Am I doing this right?’ ‘What should I do next?’ We see you through to the end.”
Robinson said patients often seek help using exercise equipment or knowing which exercises are best for their goals, and he provides that guidance.
It’s individualized for all ages and physical conditions
“It can reach the youngest to the oldest; the most active to the most sedentary,” Robinson said.
He has helped youth athletes who want to compete at the next level, motivating them if they experience rejection, injury or other hurdles; and has also worked with adults and seniors coming off injuries like shoulder tears or hip and knee replacements.
On a personal note, Robinson played college football and was invited to an NFL tryout, and later became a competitive powerlifter and softball player. Over the years he rehabbed from injuries of his own. He said those experiences taught him how to meet patients where they are and create an exercise program tailored to their specific abilities and goals.
It makes patients active players in their own care
“We’re only as good as your mindset to get things done. You have to go in thinking, ‘I want to get better and I can get better,’” Robinson said.
He creates a positive environment to make exercise fun and invigorating. “I learned years ago how tough it is when you’re mentally defeated, and I learned to always move in one gear, and that’s forward,” he said. “I’m drawn to people who I can see are struggling. I naturally have that hunger to say, ‘Let me pull the best out of you.’”
It provides an extra measure of security
Participants can continue using the Center for Rehabilitative Medicine gym while in the program, so, “They know the people and the facility. It’s a safe haven where you can come in and we know what’s going on with your body and what you as an individual need,” Scott said.
Robinson also communicates with physical therapists, so if a problem emerges, the patient gets immediate clinical support. “It’s like having access to your doctor all the time,” Scott said.
It’s a whole-body approach
Robinson said patients who take part in the Post-Rehab Wellness Program report strong overall strength and fitness, reduced pain from muscle tightness or weakness, and fewer imbalances and gait issues. That can lead to a faster transition from therapy to regular activity, and keep patients from having another injury and needing to return to therapy in the future.
“We don’t just focus on the injured area, we focus on the whole person,” Robinson said.