Performance - The completion of a task with application of knowledge, skills and ability

The recovery process is now complete and all pathology has been ruled out. The next phase of rehab is now the PERFORMANCE of various tasks, sporting activities or movement patterns depending on your goal.

Often when we speak of performance after an injury as a physiotherapist, we are cued to envision sporting performance solely. This however is not the case. Performance after an injury regardless of cause and athletic ability refers to the completion of a task as per the definition above. Physiotherapists work both with sporting performance as well as the performance of activities of daily living (ADL’s).

Sports performance is the manner in which sporting participation is measured, whereas ADL performance measures the ability to perform basic tasks such as eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, and transferring to and from different positions. The distinction is important as it falls part of the rehabilitation process as well as takes on different paths depending on the goal of the individual.

Sports performance is a complex mixture of emotional factors, financial pressures, individual and team expectation as well as biomechanical function. Performance in this context is often goal driven towards achievement of excellence on a competitive level. There are however those who participate in sport on a recreational level with different sets of goals, however still on the pursuit of some sort of self-defined goal.

ADL performance however is a necessity for every single one of you reading this article. These tasks can be made to feel like tedious activities due to debilitating neck pain from poor sleeping position or an aching back from a poor lifting technique. The list of ADL’s is never ending and includes every day tasks such as typing, driving, grooming and so on.

Physiotherapists use specific measures to evaluate the performance of tasks both on the sporting platform as well as in your every day life. Examples in sport include strength measurements, speed, agility and recovery and so on. ADL performance is measured by using various tools known as outcome measures (Also included in sport) and questionnaires. These include measures such as the functional independence measure (Mainly used for neurological pathology and the elderly population), the 10 minute walk test or the grip strength test and various others.

In both categories of PERFORMANCE, physiotherapists can address all or most of the presented issues for a client. The treatment will be goal driven and determined by both the patient and the therapist. This will allow for an understanding of the process forward with specific, achievable and measurable goals.

Once you have the ability to PERFORM…WELLNESS is just around the corner, just one more step!

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