T Nation

Physical Therapy?

Hello everyone, frequent reader of t-mag and would like some opinions of physical therapist or anybody else out there regarding training.

 My brother recently suffered a injury to his spinal cord 2 weeks ago(T5 complete as of right now)and is currently undergoing rehab.  Now part of his rehab is five days straight of strength training.  They have him do Bi/tri/shoulders one day and Chest/back the next.  It is all done on multi function cable machine with exception of a dip type machine he can do in his chair and some shoulder raises.  The routine consists of working up to a one rep max on a certain exercise. Now I felt the training frequency and intensity was a bit high and might risk injury. My brother has almost no previous training history and is doing everything he can to make him as healthy as he can.  He is complaining of acute soreness in his upper body but really wants to continue with the program if it is the best for him right now. Is this normal for someone with his injury to be doing?  I told him to take a day off to let his body recover. Its tough because moving around all day in his chair is hard enough in addition he has fractured ribs. Should he discontinue and go less frequently say 3 times a week or continue with the current routine? Any suggestions?  He has a long road ahead and just want the best for him. Thank you all for your help.   

I am not real familiar with his type of injury but it sounds like to much training. If he is injured, he does need to strengthen and regain flexability, but also needs time to heal. It sounds like he should maybe try to set it up for every other day. I know when I was rehabing an ACL surgery, I generally went 3x’s/week, but I also would do my excercises at home.

I think a lot of it also depends on the training intensity. Right now they my just be trying to improve flexability or range of motion. My guess is that he should just listen to his body. If he is tired or overly sore, that may be too much therapy. Hope that helps. Keep us updated.

Hey, I feel what you’re saying here. I used to work as a rehab asst. in a hospital where what you are describing is pretty much a regular occurance. When I was there, I asked the same questions but no one was ever really able to give me an answer. Sorry I don’t have an answer for you-- guess I just wanted to sympathize. Not sure if it will help, but I would voice my concerns to his doctor directly. If nothing changes and you are still worried and want some more info, shoot me a private message and I will talk to two of my friends who are therapists (one of them was an avid bodybuilder at one time who might be able to help). Best of luck to both you and your brother.

I am sorry to hear about your brother. That is terrible and I wish him the best. If they are using mostly cable cords, they are probably just trying to increase/get back to normal, his ROM. He will be a little sore, but that is normal, especially when he is not used to training and with an injury like that. Is he drinking enough water? Is he lactic acid sore or aching? It could be a good idea for him to take a day off, but really 3 days a week is probably good for him.

Thank you all. My brother has just started eating back to semi normal. Its tough for him to get good nutrition with that hospital slop. I have been taking him some malto+protein shakes for after his workouts and my family is bringing him some normal food. Any other supps that might help? I am trying not to play doctor but it seems he should be getting more as far as recovery aids. The meds he is on are stool softners and I think vicotin. He would like to drink more water but he is on a bladder program that puts his bathroom time in a schedule. I am going to talk to his therapist and see the reason behind the training. If there is no good answer I will probably tell my bro to go 3 times a week. Thanks again for your help and suggestions.

How bout the fact that you dont know anything about rehab and you should let professionals do their jobs? Everybody is a friggin expert.