PT on the Net Research

Epilepsy and Exercise


Question:

I have been asked to give a 20 minute presentation at my health club on epilepsy. I was wondering if you have any up-to-the-minute information on this subject and are there any visual presentations I can use in my presentation?

Answer:

I went through many resources including ACE and ACSM and nothing was listed. My suggestion to the trainer (as I have had these conditions before) is:

In terms of building a program for clients with epilepsy, start by gathering all the medical records and be sure they sign a PARQ. They must be cleared to exercise by their physician. If they're walking into the facility, they most likely have an OK from their heath care provider (HCP). Next, ask the client to get a red flag list and any possible contraindications to exercise. Note: There is a good chance the HCP will not give much data, BUT ask anyway! After all info is gathered, perform a complete assessment to determine the client's current fitness status. Begin the client in a stabilization phase which incorporates low intensity resistance.

Example:

As for what exercises, an exercise is simply movement resisted. Therefore, select the movement that will fortify your client's life (i.e., squat, lunge, bend, etc). For example, if your client has trouble squatting, you must get her to squat due to the fact squatting is an everyday task. Solution: Descend the squat to a point where she can squat (i.e., use a ball or any outside support).

In conclusion, be sure to monitor every part of your client's programming! The nervous system works in strange ways and can be unpredictable. Therefore, assessment, proper program design and proper technique will be critical to your client's health.