CHAOS In Injury Rehabiltation

For a long time I was a firm believer of quality before quantity, so much so that I probably spent way too much time chasing ‘perfect’ movements. The problem with chasing the mythical perfect movement is that you get so caught up in making everything look great, that you often fail to improve any of the physical qualities that you’re chasing with your programme.

S&C coaches are not alone in chasing the ‘perfect’ technique, many physiotherapists are also paralysed by perfection.

But, what if we should actually be exploring chaos and movement dysfunction as part of the rehabilitation process? What if rather than perfect, we take on some of the concepts of dynamic systems theory proposed by Frans Bosch and get comfortble with ‘practically perfect’ (Mary Poppins fans will like that reference)?

It’s time for a little bit of CHAOS in injury rehabilitation.

Whilst developing fixed and stable movement capabilities is certainly the foundation on which to build an effective rehabilitation programme, we must not neglect more dynamic and flexible movement patterns.


Because real life demands that we are not only capable of producing force, but that we can actually apply force within fractions of a second whilst reacting to a wide range of stimulus…and I’m not just talking about athletes…the same is true for the general population.

Many physiotherapists attending my 2-Day course ask for more ‘functional’ rehabilitation exercises.

“New rehabilitation ideas. Efficient rehabilitation ideas. Anything I can do better.”
Anne Webber – MSK Physiotherapist

“Different ideas – make treatment exercises more interesting.”
Michelle Glenn

“Rehabilitating recreationally sporty people. Fundamentals of exercise progression and prescription.”
Telly – MSK Physiotherapist NHS

“Reintroducing sport specific tasks.”

“Return to sport progression examples.

“Ideas for putting together rehabilitation guidelines (e.g. post op) which are less prescriptive and more modern, patient involved and general as opposed to giving a list of specific exercises.”

So, during the 2-Day Course  we explore the what, why and how of ‘functional’ exercise prescription. When to chase ‘perfect’ and keep the bumpers up on the bowling alley (you’ll need to come on the course to find out about this analogy!) and when to let the bumbers down and embrace a touch of chaos and maybe even failure.

I’m not suggesting we all start asking our clients to balance on stability balls whilst rubbing their tummy and patting their head. I’m simply suggesting that as well as establishing solid techniques under a range of loads, speeds etc, we should also try to explore how well our clients cope with slightly funkier movements. We should also be comfortable with movements that don’t always look perfect.

If you would like to learn more about embracing chaos during injury rehabilitation, check out my 2-Day Course – Integrating Strength and Conditioning Into Injury Rehabilitation.

Nick GranthamCHAOS In Injury Rehabiltation

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