A Framework for Exercise Prescription


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Abstract

Exercise prescription is an important part of clinical decision making for rehabilitation professionals. Evidence-based practice encourages rehabilitation professionals to have strong rationale based on the current literature for all elements of practice including therapeutic exercise. Prescribing what “has seemed to work in the past” or “what seems right” may accomplish some positive outcomes for patients; however, using sound prescription principles from current research more consistently produces optimal outcomes. This article presents a framework for exercise prescription based on levels or phases. These include Tissue Healing, Mobility, Performance Initiation, Stability, Motor Control, Performance Improvement, Advanced Coordination, Agility, and Skill. Available research is used to substantiate the framework and guide the rehabilitation professional's decision-making process when prescribing exercise.

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