By now you would have heard us talk about ‘exercise is medicine’, but how do we dose exercise effectively?
There are a few rules that have been used for a long period of time:
Endurance 12+reps, 2-3 sets.
Hypertrophy 6-12 reps, 3-6 sets
Strength 6 or less reps, 2-6 sets
Power 1-2 reps, 3-5 sets
However this isn’t particularly useful in a rehabilitation setting when pain and healing need to be taken into account.
Therapeutic exercise needs to consider a whole lot of other factors, such as:
Fear avoidance & psychological measures (very important in outcomes & prognosis)
Confidence & motivation
Freedom of movement/relaxation
Exercise is not always expected to change pain initially, but learning how to move WITHIN pain tolerance is important.
There are 2 really simple rating tools we use as clinicians and they are:
RPE (rating of perceived exertion) - how hard you are working, and
VAS (Visual Analogue Scale of pain) - How much something hurts.