Knowing What To Do With Your Patients Even Before You Do Your Assessment

Posted By: Andy Barker

If you know what your patient’s problems are…

And their end goal…

The treatment plan is just the middle bit.

But it’s this ‘messy middle’ where most therapists get stuck!

But it does not need to be like this.

Actually it can be very simple.

This is because the steps you use as part of any treatment plan can be the same for every patient you see.


Let me explain.

Whilst every patient you see will be different…

They will have different injuries…

Different past medical histories…

And different outcome goals…

They ALL require the same rehab steps to get them out of pain and back to full function.

Having a clear and structured rehab plan in your own head means you will be confident about which problems to treat first…

And how your are going to progress a patient through their rehab, from start to finish…

Even before they walk through your clinic door!

Let me show you how this works…

Simple Steps NOT Exercises

The first step I want to achieve with any patient, regardless of their injury is to restore any lost range of movement (ROM).

In a back pain patient this might be lumbar flexion.

In a shoulder pain patient it might be abduction.

In a patient with ankle pain this might be dorsiflexion.

This is step 1.

Once I have achieved this then I move on to step 2.

Then 3, 4, 5 and 6.

So, even before I start my patient assessment I know the first thing I will be treating.

And I also know the goal (restoring ROM) of the rehab exercises that I will prescribe as part of their home exercise programme.

This takes the guess work out of what you are trying to do and stops you trying to fix all the patients problems at the same time…

Which is a fast-track ticket to confusion, overwhelm and poor patient outcomes.

Patients Don’t Ever Present Like The Case Studies At University

This is true!

Patients always seem to have different problems and they assess differently to how the textbooks told you.

I’m sure you have also had those patients that have had almost every injury going and a past medical history as long as this blog!

And I bet that sometimes you have started to second guess what these other injuries might mean and whether or not you need to address them as part of your treatment plan.

Having a structured simple rehab plan makes everything more concise & clear.

Regardless of whether you have a simple ankle sprain or a chronic lower back pain patient…

A post op knee replacement or a rugby player with a bust up shoulder.

Having a simple rehab plan in your head before you even start makes things easy…

As you already know what their rehab will look like.

You know how you are going to take that patient through those initial stages of their injury…

How to progress them from the bed and know when they are ready to go into the gym…

And be confident to give your patient the green light to go back to higher level activities like running…

Without the fear of their symptoms coming back.

This takes the guess work out of knowing when to push someone on or advise against return to someone really eager to return to activity!

If you can do this then you can stop those feelings of confusion and worry.

And at the same time stop you wasting your (and your patient’s) time and efforts focusing on the wrong things.

The key to any patients rehab is having clarity of what you are doing and what you are trying to achieve.

You do this by having a simple rehab plan.

Avoiding The ‘Messy Middle’

This all sounds good on paper but how does this work in real life?

I hear you!

It sounds too easy to have a rehab plan structure that you can use for any patient, with any injury…

That shows you, step by step, how to progress (or regress if needed), a patient through a full treatment plan, from start to finish.

But it is true.

But I’ll be straight.

You are not going to read this blog and be able to nail every single patient problem that you see.

There is so much more to a great treatment plan than what I have been able to put into this blog post.

But you already know this.

Treating real patients is tough.

You have to nail your diagnosis…

Then know where to start with your treatments…

And what rehab to give your patient in that very first session…

Then how to progress your patient through a full treatment plan…

From start to finish…

And be confident in your own ability and judgement to be able to discharge them, without fear that their symptoms will quickly return.

I would love to help you do this.

I have told you the first step of my 6 step rehab planner…

Restoring ROM.

I would love to show you Steps 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the rehab planner I use each and every day.

It’s the same rehab planner that dozens of New Grads are using to get great patient results with their patients, even as students and inexperienced therapists.

It is the same rehab planner being used in the NHS, private practice clinics and professional sport.

If you can put these simple steps into practice not only will it help you plan your rehab and help you better manage the patients or athletes you work with…

It will make you feel more confident.

More confident in your own ability.

And why wouldn’t it…

As you already know what you are going to so even before your patient walks in your room!


PS. If you want me to walk you through this 6 step rehab planner and show you how simple it can be, then let’s jump on a call.

I’ll show you steps 2-6 and walk you through how to apply these steps in your own day to day practice.

This is not rocket science.

But it did take me 10+ years to figure this out.

But I can teach you this in under 30 mins.

Book a call right here.