Monday, September 22, 2008

A Good Excuse to Watch Football

When I worked at the Kessler Institute, a big rehab hospital in New Jersey, I worked with exercise physiologist Quin Bond. He changed my perspective about stroke recovery. The way athletic trainers and exercise physiologists look at stroke recovery is different from the way therapists typically view it. Therapists generally view recovery from stroke as a finite proposition. There is a beginning and an end. Most of scientific medicine views stroke recovery the same: finite. Exercise physiologists tend to see stroke recovery is infinite. Athletic trainers, the same. If you're used to working with athletes you're used to people who see progress is infinite. Athletes are always trying to make themselves better at their sport, stronger and faster. There is no difference between athletes and stroke survivors. Stroke survivor simply lower-level athletes playing higher stakes game.

There's very little that works with athletes that doesn't work with stroke survivors. Every fundamental concept in athletic training can be superimposed on stroke recovery. Again, lower-level, but the same basic concepts hold true. Training concepts that athletes use can be used to recover from stroke. Basic concepts such as multiple hours (massed) practice, weight training, cardiovascular training, pushing the limits of ability and cross training, etc. all work superimposed on stroke recovery. The bottom line is that stroke survivors should see athletes as inspirational figures.
The photo is of Steve Prefontaine who exemplified the pursuit of the infinite.


s(b.) said...

Thanks so much for this excellent blog. It's really helping me learn stuff to help a friend.

Peter G Levine said...

Cooool! Thanks!

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