Exercise prescription – guide by evidence or experience?

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Recently there was an interesting twitter ‘battle’ between two well-known names in our industry. One was a researcher, the other a practitioner. It was an entertaining battle as to the worth of evidence vs experienced based practice.

It began when a twitter post from an organisation showed an isometric hip adduction exercise for rehabilitation of groin injuries. In summary the next few comments went something along the lines of…

The practitioner: Oh my, why this?
The researcher: Because of this study (link to study)
The practitioner: Wow – I took that out of my toolbox years ago
The researcher: Why have you dismissed the paper?
The practitioner: Because it doesn’t work
The researcher: So what do you do then?
The practitioner: I do this, works every time

Two very experienced individuals, with somewhat different backgrounds and different rationales for prescribing an exercise. Who is right?

Experience plays a big part, but the very best practitioners will incorporate evidence along with their experience. And this forms the basis of evidence-based practice. Key word is ‘Evidence-based’ not ‘Evidence-only’. According to Sacket et al (1996) the definition of evidence-based practice is:

“the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of evidence-based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research”

This is why we created TrackActive with evidence-based exercises with research and citations. It is also why we provide the functionality to copy and edit these exercises in the database to suit your individual experience of how these exercises are best performed or communicated. And finally, you can add completely new exercises that your experience says works.


REFERENCES

Sackett, D. L., Rosenberg, W. M., Gray, J. A., Haynes, R. B., & Richardson, W. S. (1996). Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn’t. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 312(7023), 71.

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