Mini blog: Recovery Timeline

recovery-timeline_orig

My rehab timeline. This has been in the wall in my clinic for over a year (so no this isn’t plagiarised from anyone).

This has been of great effect in explaining the rehabilitation process, in tendon loading discussions and even in pain management. This has lots of uses and is widely applicable, you can adapt your own story to this, but please don’t bastardise too much! The central tenants of this diagram are:

The human being is typically a ‘boom-buster’ if left to their own devices. There will be periods of ‘over-reaching’, of excess that inevitably lead to periods of shortcoming and deprivation. We see this following an injury; if left to their own devices, the patient can progress well but without guidance they will reach rapidly toward an unsustainable level.

  • ‘The bucket’ (the themes on top of the ‘boom-busting’ timeline), is a constant balance of life’s demands in varying degrees for different people. This juggling act is an ever-present force that impacts on the system.
  • There can be a ‘bust’ in both physical and psychosocial ways; if the system is not ready for the load placed on it or it is progressed to rapidly, this can cause a physical bust. If the system is pushed too hard for ‘the bucket’ to remain balanced, the bucket tips and there can be a different kind of bust.
  • This cycle is repeating, because without external guiding factors, the human being is likely to repeat this process without reflection or insight. This process can repeat ad-infinitum but will get less ‘successful’ with each ‘boom’ or the ‘boom-bust’ cycles can become closer together or different permutations of cyclical process.

With external guidance and correct progressive loading, the human being (the system) can achieve a lasting, durable progression or rehabilitation.

  • This progression can exceed an individual’s ‘perceived’ level of tolerance, if continued for long enough. Their ‘potential tolerance’ may be higher than even they imagined.
  • This does not mean an external guiding force needs to be included with any progression of the human being, but that if taken in measured, moderate steps; progression should be continuous and the property of the patient.

Unfortunately, the human being is myopic and biased. If improvement is slow and progressive, a small trough in symptoms may seem devastating. It is very often required to remind the patient of their progress through a rehabilitation. But, more importantly, this can extend to recovery and progress through any issue. The reflection on the process as a whole (improvement) and macroscopic viewpoint is always necessary to a) teach and b) practice, as it is sometimes ‘hard to see the forest for the trees’.

Please comment and let me know your feedback. Thanks for reading and letting me lay some of my shit on ya.

For some more background on ‘boom-busting’ systems, you may want to read a little on capitalism, we are all put through this kind of cycle on a fairly regular basis. A student of mine recently got me talking about the injustice in the world’s economy and this little ditty came up (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lIqNjC1RKU) check it out and give respect for the man that made economic warfare a PG-rated affair… What I’d love to know is, do we just not see the forest for the trees?

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