Realistic Expectations From Rehab –
When I discuss what to expect from rehab, the importance of maintaining workouts and scheduled appointments is key to the equation. I urge pet caretakers to continue the work and not put too much time between our rechecks or phone updates.
If you do the work as prescribed, then you should expect improvements.
People frequently contact me.
People that contact me all have the same intent of finding solutions for their pet’s (and often their own) discomfort after injury, surgery, or prolonged diagnostic challenges. How they respond to my information and to their pet regarding my information all differs. I have made it a point to observe and adapt my work to differences in their interpretations of medical information and my plans. Hopefully my adaptations address a greater number of worldwide people and some broader issues.
Other life happens during the intent to do planned life and plans for rehab work. Some common interruptions to rehab work are holidays, school breaks, and trauma in the human family.
As I was encouraging one client to not postpone our two-week recheck during a school break, I noted the information in the following paragraphs. She rescued her dog, it’s young, it’s her first adult dog, and he had one FHO to repair the pelvic area prior to her rescuing him and after an unknown accident . The other hip seems fine. This was her first rehab rodeo.
About your text and the schedule…
We can meet when you want, however I recommend sticking with two week rechecks for now.
Part of the benefit of meeting in two weeks is to help encourage your staying on track.
Part of the benefit of meeting is that in two weeks, potentially he’s had three or four workouts of at least two of the three drills I gave you to work. If that’s the case, I will need to change the drills in two weeks to advance him to the next point.
It actually ends up being somewhat of a waste of time if you do the same base-building drills for four weeks. Sometimes people stick on week one when they should advance. Sometimes people advance all the way to week four but they should not have gone forward past week one as per my written parameters.
BUT, if you cannot meet when I propose, by all means, continue the same plan. Don’t stop 🙂
Also, often people get tired of doing the same drills if we don’t meet to discuss results and upgrade the work. In this case they often begin to cut jout certain work or allow too much time to pass in-between drills.
Don’t find other drills online to do because they are not part of the foundation and recovery we are building.
So, if you are doing a drill every other day, and you really only get to work on two out of the three drills I prescribed, then you will definitely need an upgrade for your pet in no more than two weeks.
Adaptation to exercise drills occurs in specific amounts of time. Doing the same workout over and over without changes is a waste of time and energy if you want improvement.
If you abandon ship altogether, when recovery is not complete, then the injury will likely resurface or other injuries will occur.
Sometimes people don’t follow through at first, yet they often pick the program back up and begin again and the pet improves again.
The reality is that regardless of what happens to any body, mine or yours or your pet’s, there isn’t a “going back” to a set point; there is a “new normal”.
You have already seen great progress with him, and that’s from your doing the work. When you do the work for surgery recovery, you also strengthen the opposite side without overusing the “good” leg.
In humans or any other animals, disuse leads to dysfunction. It doesn’t matter how many thousands of dollars a person may have spent on clinical rehab; if people don’t go back to doing their exercises when problems arise then dysfunction continues.
Often the problems returning are obvious because lameness and limping return. This is disuse. Sometimes people notice muscle atrophy or weakness before limping begins. This is because of disuse.
You should expect…
My programs work to build muscle to support the body, support the joints, and improve function. They also work to improve proprioception and increase neuro-muscular abilities.
Pets will use the better-functioning body parts and will ignore damaged ones to get to where and what they want.
So long as they are comfortable with drugs (or adjunctive therapies or both), they will use the injured limb more, and I count on that for them to build muscle and to better support the joints. When they are comfortable on their own, they will usually use *all* their parts as normally as possible. Without interventions, animals will not usually use a painful, damaged, or disabled body part very well, and their dysfunction will continue.
After we work more and he progresses, I will give you guidance to return to certain drills. You will also use other drills once or twice a week over the next year just to maintain better function.
Check out this post on Goals of Therapeutic Exercise for more ideas.
Updated February 12, 2018. Originally posted December 8, 2014