Of all the teachers I have had, Stuart is one of the best.
The meeting that we were about to have proofed that again. No matter how much you have learned and thought others about rehabilitation, it is always good to touch base. In stroke and traumatic brain rehab, this is maybe even more important than in other areas of rehabilitation. By now you have probably understood that some principles need to be applied for optimal recovery and purposeful neuroplasticity to take place. For example, the number of repetitions you spend on exercises and the intensity with which you do this. There are other fundamentals as well; you need central stability (read strength and endurance) before you attempt to use or rehabilitate an arm, leg or surprisingly even speech and cognition (the latter go beyond the purpose of this blog which I explain in new blog posts and training of brain .rehab)
We were meeting in his office in Savannah. Of the two of us, Linda was probably the most eager to interview him. After all, some of the exercises I learned from Stuart, helped reduce the spasticity and control over Linda’s left arm. Stuart is not only one of the most level headed persons that I have met when it comes to rehabilitation; he is also one of the most experienced therapists in the rehabilitation of neuro-orthopedic conditions that I have ever met. Before going back to private practice, he was the director of rehabilitation of a large orthopedic group. In that capacity, he was able to develop a robust system that helped thousands of post-surgical patients to regain function. Together with David George, another person that I learned from when he was an associate professor of neurology at the Carrick Institute for clinical neuroscience and rehabilitation, they founded FNOR, which stands for Functional Neuro-Orthopedic Rehabilitation. FNOR is a pioneer in the merging of neurorehabilitation and orthopedic physical therapy.
It was only a ten-minute drive from the hotel in historic Savannah. The route took us through fairy tale like an avenue that seems to have come straight from a story tale book.
Stuarts clinic is situated in a large community center and has a large fitness gym and swimming pool that they can make use of. After showing us around and explaining a few things about some of the latest equipment (thank you, Stuart!) we conducted the interview. You will see and hear that Stuart is highly efficient and a no-nonsense speaker. Oh, and if you wonder about his accent, he comes from Yorkshire in the UK (-;
In the video you also see him examine Linda for shoulder stability. What we learned from that is to pay even more attention to the static shoulder stability before progressing into more complex exercises. And that is exactly why it sometimes pays off to go back to basic principles. Correct posture, breathing, holding in an anatomical and physiologically correct position before starting even the tiniest of movements. Most of us tend to want to progress to more complex and advanced training; we are no exception to that. The big point I got from this meeting is that it is tempting to progress too quickly and that holding in the correct position is just as important to drive appropriate brain function.
We explain in the brain.rehab training on building blocks for further recovery why stability training is so fundamental for further recovery. It is together with basic neuromotor development and vestibular integration the fundament for neurological (brain) recovery and growth.
I am sure we will meet up with Stuart again and gain more insights that will help us improve the brain.rehab rehabilitation program. He really is one of the few that cut through the complex material that rehabilitation is, and comes right to the core. Thank you Stuart!
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