More on Fatigue... When are you examining your patients?

You have probably read our posts from a day or so ago about fatigue and running. If not, see here and here.   In addition to the articles cited, it was based on this article here.


So how many times do we se someone in the clinic who have a problem, but it is not apparent at the time of exam? You know the scenario "I get this low back pain at mile 10" or "My knee hurts on the bike at mile 50". Our questions are

"So, when are you examining your patient?".

  • Are they fresh out of the box 1st thing in the morning, before their work out because that  is when you had an opening?
  • Is it after a long day with a different workout under different circumstances?
  • Is it right about at the time they usually have the issue?

The correct answer is "C". We like to say "if we can reproduce the pain, we can most likely figure out what the problem is and can usually come up with a solution or a different compensation". 

See your people around the time of the injury. If they get pain at mile 19, then have them run 18 prior to their visit and have them finish up in the office. If the knee pain is at mile 50 on the bike, have them do the last 10 on the trainer under your supervision. People will often have great mechanics until they begin to crumple. Your job is to see them at their worst, or watch their function deteriorate real time and try and come up with a solution. 

This concept is used all the time in exercise and stress testing. Why don't we use it with other than cardiovascular evaluations? The question eludes us. We often call this "pre fatigue" and use its all the time. You should too. The factors that separate a good clinician from a great one is outcomes. Be all you can be...


The Gait Guys


Dores H, Mendes L, Ferreira A, Santos JF. Symptomatic Exercise-induced Intraventricular Gradient in Competitive Athlete. Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia. 2017;109(1):87-89. doi:10.5935/abc.20170075. FREE FULL TEXT

Biffi AAmmirati FCaselli GFernando FCardinale MFaletra EMazzuca VVerdile LSantini M.Usefulness of transesophageal pacing during exercise for evaluating palpitations in top-level athletes. Am J Cardiol. 1993 Oct 15;72(12):922-6. FREE FULL TEXT: