Activity Capacity?

What is your capacity for activity? Many people come to Physical Therapy becuase their capacity to perform their activities has been limited by injury. Physical Therapists work on guiding the progression back to these activity goals.

Achieving these goals depends on knowing what to do and when to do it, just as much as it depends on knowing what NOT to do at particular times.

You can think of your capacity for a particular activity like a bucket of water. The inside of the bucket is the pain free zone. You can do X amount of activities before your overflow the bucket. Once you exceed the capacity, pain and further injury can result. You and your Physical Therapist can work together to identify the limits.

Here are some questions to ask your Physical Therapist to help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible:

1. What should I do for home exercise?
2. What should I avoid?
3. How long will it take to reach my goals?
4. How many times/week do I need to come to Physical Therapy?
5. What activities do I need to modify? (This may include daily activities like sleeping and driving, as well as more advanced activities like running, kicking, or throwing).
5. If you are in a sport: How should I modify my practices and conditioning?
6. If you are in-season in a sport:

  • Can I play or compete?
  • What are the conditions of participation?
  • Will I injure myself further if I play?
  • Can I have a note/email/call to help communicate with my coach?

Understanding your capacity for your activities, as well as its changes as you progress through your rehabilitation will help lead to optimal outcomes.