Functional fitness

* Alert! * Demand for Functional Information Reaches an All Time High!

How does one bake a cake with only half of a recipe? 

How does one build a house when half the building plan is missing?

And how does one craft a rehabilitation or return to work plan with only half the details?


Rehab providers, we know the struggle. Take a deep breath, and relax. You are in safe hands here. 


It’s what makes our company unique.

We understand the frustrations of having to dig around for details to fill in the gaps, going back and forth between the different health professionals involved, the client, the workplace… We’ve been there too!

In fact, our Director Brad Domek spent 8 years in your shoes. 

“One of my biggest frustrations when working as a rehab provider was the lack of usable, functional information from treatment providers. So when I started Specialised Health, I knew there was a need for an EP company with a difference”. 

Brad experienced it first hand. And so, Specialised Health was born with you, the rehab provider, in mind.


We match task to exercise.

We see a need… We address it!

By identifying the barriers that are stopping an individual from returning to work, we can devise specific strategies to overcome those barriers.

We look at the client’s function in relation to the needs of their occupation, and then look to minimise the gap between task and current capacity. 

We want to know whether a client can lift their 5kg power drill over their head and hold it there long enough to do what they need to do in their job as a builder. Or whether the picker-packer can pick up those 10kg boxes from the ground several times per hour. And if not – what exercises can we prescribe that mimic that task as closely as possible?

When you think about it, every session that we spend observing the client’s movement (or mood, in the case of mental health clients) provides valuable information regarding their capacity – it’s like a mini assessment in itself! And we are quick to let you know of their improvements throughout the program, so that their work capacity statements and restricted duties accurately match with their capabilities at that time.


At the end of the day, we want to make your job easier.

It’s why we focus so much on communication! 

Fortnightly email updates regarding the client’s capacity, written in plain English. While us exercise physiologists may know what a bird-dog, a face-pull, or an Arnold press exercise is, we don’t expect you to!

We aim to keep things as simple and straightforward for you as possible. Here’s an example of the content we put into our fortnightly updates: 


“Dear Mr/ Mrs Insurer and Mr/ Mrs RP


 Just forwarding through an update regarding Mr Smith, who is now 4-weeks into his 8-week EP program.

Over the past fortnight, Mr Smith has demonstrated a significant increase in his overhead lifting capacity, as well as a considerable increase in his reported confidence when completing tasks around home, such as hanging out the washing. He reports to  be compliant with his independent exercise sessions and has commented that he has not needed to take any painkillers on 3 days this week, which is great news!


 Goals of Program

Return to pre-disability hours (40 / week) as a self employed Electrician.


 Progress Towards Goals – Outcome Measures:

  • Increase overhead lifting capacity to 5 kg: Achievement date XX/XX/XXXX

Mr Smith has increased his overhead lifting capacity to 3kg, with no concerns to date. I believe that we are on track to achieve this goal by the date outlined.

  • Hang out the washing independently: Achievement date XX/XX/XXXX

Mr Smith reports that he successfully completed this on XX/XX/XXXX


 Reported Issues/Barriers

  • Continued pain in left shoulder with loaded overhead movements, however, management strategies provided by this service are proving very effective thus far.



  • Add further 2kg to overhead lift, achieving the goal of 5kg, in 2 weeks
  • Provide final progression in shoulder stability program to ensure self-management after discharge in 4 weeks.


 Demonstrated Function (improvements in bold)

  • Overhead Reaching – able to be sustained for 2min at a time                               
  • Waist height carrying – 10kg carried for 3 minutes             
  • Waist to shoulder lifting – 5kg lifted for 30 repetitions                 
  • Shoulder to overhead lifting – 3kg lifted overhead for 30 repetitions              
  • Nil concerns with general postures including sitting, standing, walking and squatting.


 Work Capacity

From Mr Smith’s performance during supervised sessions with Specialised Health, he is deemed fit to undertake full-time duties, provided that the following guidelines are adhered to for a further 2 weeks: 

–  Lifting objects of up to 5kg below shoulder height only

– Lifting objects of up to 3kg overhead

– Carrying items of up to 10kg for up to 3 minutes per hour


Negotiating with the GP

Negotiating certification upgrades with the GP is much more straightforward with relevant, functional information on hand. You can simply bring one of our fortnightly updates with you when you next go to visit the GP, or why not get us to tag along with you? Our E.P.’s are more than happy to attend and help you to get that seal of approval from the GP.


Ahh, sigh of relief… You can bake your cake and build your house after all!


Would you like us to help make your job easier?

Refer to the Specialised Health team!

Author: Yolanda van Vugt

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