Screening. We talk about it a lot. Perhaps more than a lot. Perhaps it’s the fundamental thing that every trainer needs to get “right” to service ANY of their clients as best they can. Fitness Australia has a great Screening tool, which you can access here, however, at the end of the day, it is still a “one size fits all” document supposed to service everyone from 15 year old kids to 80 year old grandfathers and everything in between.
WHO are you training? What are common health disorders in that population?
It’s not enough to have just one screening protocol for all populations. Men are more likely to experience hernia… are you screening for that? Women are more likely to experience prolapse… are you screening for that? and if not, i guess you’re not training men or women, are you?
It’s the same for training Pregnant Vs Post Natal clients. You cannot screen a pregnant woman the same way as a post natal, because many of her issues
a) haven’t occurred yet,
b) may not be diagnosed, and she doesn’t know the symptoms,
c) every pregnancy is so different, that even in the 2nd and subsequent pregnancies have to assume a) and b).
Post natal women have been through a significant physiological event… whereas a pregnant woman is going through it right now. Have you ever heard the saying “you can’t see the forest for the trees”? Basically it means that you need to look at the big picture.
Pregnant women need constant, verbal screening. Use open ended questions that have them describing their answers to you. Here’s the best part, you don’t have to diagnose – you just have to know whats not normal, and refer them to their GP. To do this, you got to know what you’re looking for. What happens to pregnant women during pregnancy? What does it look and feel like, from your perspective and the clients? You do this enough and you’ll start to see patterns. You’ll also catch the odd red flag that the midwife missed.
About 15 years ago i had a pregnant client turn up to her training itchy. I didn’t know what Cholestasis was back then, but i knew that insanely itchy wasn’t “normal”. So i sent her straight to the doctor – no session, called them from the gym, sent her straight over. I potentially saved the life of her baby. THIS is what we mean, at Burrell Education, when we are talking about LIFE CHANGING exercise. When put into perspective like this, what is more life changing, keeping the mother’s weight gain down, and her body instagram-worthy? Or keeping her baby alive? This is why screening, specific to your client, is so important!
Compare this to a Post Natal women, who has come out the other side with a story to tell. She’ll tell you about her brush with Cholestasis, her pubic pain, her tears during labour, the fact she is sleeping only 4hrs a night. You need a different kind of screening for your post natal client, one that encompasses every possible element of her story, and helps you guide her towards the right referral. That’s right. Whilst we take the information gathered in to account while we exercise, the main purpose of the screening is to direct towards further care. We don’t diagnose. We don’t design treatment plans. We prescribe movement, and that’s all.
What are things that affect women, not just in the immediate post natal period, but ongoing, after having children? Are you screening for non-specific back pain in your mama clients? Incontinence (all kinds)? Weird symptoms “down there” that she has never been asked about before?
Perhaps you need to start!
Let’s go DEEPER in our assessment and movement prescription for Pre and Post Natal women! 2020 LIVE and VIRTUAL dates are ready now, early bird rates are in place, and payment plans are set and ready to go! Check out the details here!