Let's Help Each Other

Physical therapy is changing rapidly. As a PT with more than thirty years of experience, the changes observed in the last ten years triple those of the first twenty years. The pace of change is not slowing down. The Medigraph Blog will serve as a forum that will enable us to exchange ideas and assist each other. This blog will be used to share billing, documentation, and any other ideas to improve any aspects of our profession. If we share what we have learned, we can develop a resource that enables our collective understanding to advance our careers.

As profit margins grow smaller and expenses grow larger, we need to assist each other to survive and prosper. If we share our experiences we can help each other to grow professionally, administratively, and financially. Our professional lives, our livelihood, and our personal lives are intertwined. Our resources individually are limited. Together we can accomplish more than we can individually. Let's help each other

Regards,

Tom Kane, PT
MediGraph Software

The Stethoscope vs. MRI. Aerobics vs. resitance exercise
1/22/2011 1:36:00 PM

An area where many physical therapist lack sufficient expertise is in non-rehabilitation exercise.  For the rehabilitation of a physical injury or dysfunction, our skill set is uncompromising.  For health promotion and  maximum performance conditioning, many of us are no better than personal trainers (many of whom do not poses a high school diploma).  Resistance training is far more effective than aerobics  for health promotion and sports performance and requires much less  time.   Evidence obtained by diagnostic interventions (MRI, PET, CT, ultrasound, etc.) clearly demonstrates the greater benefit of resistance training.  There is also data to demonstrate that aerobics can reduce cardiac reserve capacity and actually damage the left ventricle.    These statements are  verified in  published peer reviewed literature and they confirm my clinical observations as well.

 
The above link is the latest exposure of a "common sense" aerobic myth that persists.    The October, 2010 Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research compared the effects of aerobic exercise vs. strength conditioning on the arteries ability to dilate and increase blood flow.  These two qualities (arterial dilation and increased blood flow) are where aerobics'' benefits are supposed to lie.  The outcome of this objective examination revealed that  resistance exercisers experienced more improvement than the aerobic exercisers. 
 
Another recent publication of the 2010 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress has revealed that aerobic exercise damages the heart.  A paper presented at this meeting  revealed  the magnitude of abnormal heart segments are more widespread among those that performed aerobic exercise, and that less fit people had fewer of these damaged heart segments.  MRI studies (not  a stethoscope, which was the instrument of choice when the aerobics theory was invented four decades ago) examined 17 segments of the left ventricle.  When a segment is injured by  aerobic exercise the neighboring segments assume the function of the injured segment.  This hypertophy "taking over" can make the heart appear stronger, but it has actually grown weaker because of the vulnerability of that damaged segment.  A more alarming fact discovered by the MRIs is that it takes up to three  months for the heart to recover from the damage inflicted by aerobic exercise.   
 
Why do people prefer aerobics?  The biggest reason is they are easier to perform.  However, when we consider that  properly performed resistance training can be performed once or twice per week, and that benefits from this form of resistance training exceeds those obtained from aerobics, blindly advising wellness patients to jog or ride a bike 5-7 days per week becomes questionable.  
 
Aerobics was created in the 70s.  At that time the most used diagnostic tools were the stethoscope and the EKG.    Do you drive a 70's car?  Do you have a shag haircut?  Do you still have a pet rock?  Its 2011.  It may be time to reconsider the exercise recommendations that are offered to those that seek our counsel in these areas. 
 
Regards,
Tom Kane, PT
MediGraph Software