Exercise Physiologist, how do you describe it?

When your friends ask you what is an Exercise Physiologist, how do you describe it?

Nick D

The way I describe my job is that I help people find exercise solutions to particular injuries or towards goals that they are trying to achieve. I do this through clinical pilates, resistance training, movement testing and ongoing coaching. There is quite a broad scope of practice from which an EP could work from, be it private practice, hospital setting or sporting club.

Nick B

Exercise Physiologists are Allied Health Practitioners that use exercise to treat and manage a wide range of conditions, both chronic and acute, but that’s not all we do! We work with the client to develop goals based around their needs and help them in their journey towards a healthier lifestyle, fostering independence in the client so that they have all of the tools that they need to make a change.

Nat

Firstly, we understand what is going on inside the body and the systems – metabolic, cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurological and musculoskeletal – involved in various diseases and conditions. Well known diseases include but are not limited to Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, weight management, osteoarthritis, back pain, asthma, Parkinson’s disease and common sprains or strains. Secondly, we have extensive experience prescribing exercise plans to help manage the above conditions across hospital, community health and private practice settings, ultimately moving people towards their goals.

Can you tell us about a client that particularly comes to your mind that you feel you have made a really big impact on their well being?

Nick D

A blend of a few clients comes to mind when I think about making an impact on their wellbeing. It’s usually comes in the form of that look of relief when after a session they realise that there is hope for their pain and that they’ve been able to do something physical without making things worse. In fact they’ve started to make it better through exercise. It’s usually for those with low back pain where we gradually decrease their sensitivity and increase their confidence in movement. They start to get the long-term benefits, they feel more positive about their situation and it filters through into their everyday life.

Nick B

I had a client come in late last year shortly after a sprain in the thoracic region following a basketball injury, with a history of low back pain. They experienced pain to the touch and had very limited range of movement. With a program focused on gradually progressing through range of motion, strength and stability to the area, the client has been able to get back to the things they love (golf & basketball) without pain, and in fact they find their golf swing has improved. They now rarely feel any discomfort at the site of their injury.

Nat

Introducing an elderly male living with multiple chronic diseases’ and in significant social isolation to a weekly exercise program and supportive community. It was greatly rewarding to see him progress through his strength and balance program but also having him engage more during his sessions sharing jokes or newspaper stories he thought were interesting. It goes to show that wellbeing is not only limited to our physical capacity but also our mental and social functioning.

What are things that people don’t know or understand about EP?

Nick D

Most people don’t know that EP’s work to manage and prevent chronic disease and that there is a huge amount of evidence to support the role of exercise for treating conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, depression and many neurological disorders.

Nick B

I think a lot of people don’t realise that we work with more than just dodgy knees and sore backs! Exercise physiologists are taught to treat the person as a whole, and can treat those with neurological conditions such as strokes, those with heart or lung conditions, as well as diabetics and those undergoing treatment for cancer. We take all of the factors that make you “you” in to consideration to help your health.

Nat

Our experience extends beyond exercise prescription and into behaviour change and lifestyle modification. We aim to understand how the various layers of daily life can influence our movement and health, and how we can optimise areas concerning sleep, diet, movement, social interaction and motivation to promote progress.

Also, distinguishing the differences between other clinical professions. I like to highlight how we understand and promote movement as a form of medicine. Hands on treatment is not within our scope of practice so we really encourage independent health management strategies.

What advice would you give someone considering coming to see you for an EP consult?

Nick D

If someone is considering seeing any health professional, it’s always a good idea to see your GP first as you may be eligible for a care plan where you can have five sessions per year subsidised under Medicare to help facilitate the health change that you’d like to implement. Otherwise, if you’re unsure, get in contact with the EP first, describe the issue you’re having and see how they might be able to help out.

Nick B

Come in with an open mind and closed toe shoes. While we will be doing some exercise in your first consultation, a considerable amount of our first meeting often involves hearing your story and getting to know your goals and motivations.

Nat

It’s never too late to start moving! Whether you have participated in sports from a young age or love to have a hit of golf here and there, regular movement can have many positive benefits for your physical, mental, emotional and social health that are immediate and ongoing. As Exercise Physiologists, we can tailor your exercise sessions to your physical needs and goals, movement history, work-life commitments and interests. We are here to help you get started.

2019-04-29T20:28:38+00:00