Physiotherapy as Primary Prevention of Power Problems: Muscle Power Training for Seniors
Physiotherapy as Primary Prevention of Power Problems: Muscle Power Training for Seniors with Dr. Scotty Butcher
Relevance to the Physiotherapy Profession
This session will be of relevance to therapists, students, and researchers in that it will present information based on recent evidence regarding the development of power training programs for older adults. In addition to the review of the evidence, the presenter will highlight his clinical and research experience with different types of practical power training for older adults.
Learning Objectives and Session Content
The purpose of this online physiotherapy course is to present evidence supporting the use of the long term, whole-body resistance training with a focus on enhancing power output in older adults. This session will highlight the impact of power training on physical function and resilience and will demonstrate a need for a shift in the approach used by physical therapists from a reactive to a preventative focus.
- Discuss the role of muscle power in the performance of daily activities in older adults;
- Describe how power-type training can be used to prevent declining physical function and enhance physical resilience;
- Debate the shift in focus that physical therapists need to adequately address power needs as part of a comprehensive physical training program.
This session will be of interest to clinicians, researchers, and students who are engaged or interested in best practice approaches to designing exercise training programs for older adults.
Description of Supporting Evidence
Provide a descriptive overview of the literature that the topic is based on, as well as the level of supporting evidence. If there is a gap or lack of evidence for your topic, please provide an explanation. The role of whole-body strength and power training has, up until recently, been underappreciated in clinical practice and guidelines for exercise prescription in older adults. Recent research, however, has demonstrated that a) muscle mass, strength, and power are highly significant independent predictors of mortality, morbidity, and quality of life, b) power training improves clinically significant outcomes related physical function, physical resilience, and performance, and c) power training using non-traditional modes of loading can be as effective as traditional weights and training methods for enhancing power, making this type of training accessible outside the clinical and gym settings.
Description of Session Format
The format for this proposed 60-minute session will be primarily lecture, however, time for select exercise demonstrations and small group discussion will be reserved to enhance attendee engagement.
Conclusions and Implications
The physical therapy profession is at a crossroads in terms of its focus on the delivery of exercise-based interventions. There is enough evidence that long term programs which encompass multiple physiological adaptations including strength and power are most appropriate for enhancing the performance of older adults in the completion of daily activities and functional tasks, as well as in dealing with life stressors with resiliency. Based on the available evidence, and the current level of skill in this type of prescription in the profession, a shift in approach is needed to optimize the health and performance of our aging population. Physical therapists are in a prime position to lead this shift.
This presentation will highlight the current evidence around power-type resistance training for the prevention of declining mobility and in enhancing the resilience of our aging community. Based on this evidence, this session will also demonstrate how the physical therapy profession, with a shift in focus, can be leaders in the delivery of practical programs for enhancing power outcomes.
Please note that this course was recorded at the Canadian Physiotherapy Association 2019 Forum in Charlottetown, PEI.
BSc(PT), PhD, ACSM-RCEP, CF-L1
Dr. Scotty Butcher is an Associate Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at the University of Saskatchewan and co-founder of Strength Rebels. He holds a BSc PT and MSc Kin from the University of Saskatchewan and a PhD in Exercise Physiology and Experimental Medicine from the University of Alberta.He is certified as a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-RCEP), is a CrossFit Level 1 trainer (CF-L1), and is formerly certified as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA-CSCS); the latter of which he has formally relinquished.
Scotty teaches exercise physiology, prescription, and rehabilitation to physical therapy students and has published several peer reviewed articles and two book chapters related to exercise testing and prescription. Currently training as a powerlifter, he has a passion for strength training and translates this to promoting quality exercise training and rehabilitation practices for clinicians and students. His focus in research, teaching, and clinical work is on the hybrid rehabilitation/strength training approach, and shares his views through blogging and vlogging.