How ChatGPT can write a rehab program for your pain and injury

jesse cai, chiropractor singaporeChatGPT is an AI-powered language model designed to assist users in generating human-like text. While ChatGPT itself does not have the ability to directly create a rehabilitation program for pain and injury, it can provide information and guidance based on existing knowledge and research in the field of rehabilitation. Today, we will discuss how you can use AI to facilitate your own rehabilitation exercise programme.

While you engage with ChatGPT, it’s important to remember that it is not a replacement for professional healthcare advice. Not yet at least. To develop a comprehensive rehabilitation plan for your pain and injury, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a chiropractor, physical therapist, or sports medicine specialist. Your chiropractor will evaluate your specific condition, consider your medical history, and create a tailored recovery programme specific to your unique condition.

1. Ask for general information

ChatGPT can provide you with general information about various rehabilitation exercises, techniques, and pain management strategies. You can ask ChatGPT specific questions about different types of exercises, such as strengthening exercises, stretching techniques, or mobility exercises, and it can offer explanations and guidelines to help you understand the concepts and principles behind them.

Additionally, ChatGPT can provide insights into pain management strategies, such as heat or cold therapy, relaxation techniques, or over-the-counter pain medications. By asking questions about these strategies, you can gain a better understanding of how they work and their potential benefits.

Information may be outdated

While ChatGPT claims to be trained on a diverse range of sources from scientific literature to news articles, its knowledge cutoff is September 2021. In other words, it cannot provide information of research developments or breakthroughs beyond September 2021. If you are looking for evidence-based advice, ChatGPT cannot help you with that.

You may come across ChatGPT citing famous organisations to support the points that they make. This makes them appear to be more credible. However, if you were to ask them for an exact source, they sometimes cannot provide it. ChatGPT does make up references that do not exist to illustrate a point. You should always independently verify the information and consult reliable sources for queries.

Seek guidance on home exercises

While a professional assessment is crucial for developing a comprehensive rehabilitation program, ChatGPT can offer suggestions for simple, low-risk exercises that may be beneficial for certain types of injuries. These exercises are generally considered safe and can provide a starting point for your home exercise routine.

Previously, ChatGPT was able to respond to a “write me a 12-week exercise programme for lower back pain”. The AI-generated programme included a week-by-week breakdown of the exercises that could be potentially used for back aches and soreness. This function no longer seems to be available at time of writing.

Thankfully, ChatGPT is still able to make recommendations on exercises that could be helpful. When asked “what exercises should I do for back pain”, chat the AI model responded with:

  • Cat-camel stretch
  • Bird dog
  • Pelvic tilts
  • Bridge pose
  • Modified cobras

These exercises are indeed often part of a lower back pain exercise programme. However, they are too basic and will unlikely provide any benefit for a back pain patient beyond the first one to two weeks.

AI can provide progressive loading

Bear crawl arm raises, as performed by our trainer in the above video, is a possible exercise progression for bird dog.

You may be surprised to know that ChatGPT can level up their exercise recommendations as your condition improves. Our next prompt was, “can you give me a list of more advanced exercises for back pain?”

Ask and it shall be given. This was the next list of exercises we received:

  • Plank
  • Superman
  • Romanian deadlift
  • Side plank
  • Quadruped opposite arm and leg lift

Honestly, the recommendations were not bad. The new exercises for the most part are more advanced than the previous ones. Quadruped opposite arm and leg lift is the exception as it is the exact same exercises as bird dog.

AI can provide exercise dosage

Now that we have an exercise list, the next step is to determine the dosage of each exercise. When asked to provide the volume and frequency for the AI-prescribed exercises, we were given generic advice. ChatGPT explained they are dependent on individual factors, such as your current fitness level, the severity of your back pain, and any specific recommendations from a healthcare professional.

When promoted again to “give me a set and repetition suggestion for each of the five exercises”, they did deliver! Their recommendation was to do 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions for all of the exercises.

Makes sense. No complaints from our side.

You can also use Google or social media to find exercises

Unsurprisingly, the exercises given are fairly generic. You can almost see the same exercises recommended if you were to Google for low back pain exercises. This makes sense. Afterall, it is a text-AI model and the information it provides is based on existing information on the internet.

While ChatGPT is able to prescribe the number of sets and repetitions to be performed, it is generic and does not take into account your specific case. How could they? After all, it is a one way street where you ask the questions and ChatGPT provides the answer.

BONUS: ChatGPT can play doctor

jesse cai, chiropractor singapore, chiropractic consultation
One of the things that ChatGPT cannot provide is a personalised treatment plan. The AI model does not ask follow-up questions, request clarifications, or gather additional information that may be pertinent for your case.

To satisfy our curiosity, we asked ChatGPT if they could ask us questions about our back pain so they can refine their exercise recommendation. They came up with seven very good questions. They are:

  1. What is the nature of your back pain? Is it a dull ache, sharp pain, or stiffness?
  2. Where specifically is the location of your back pain? Is it in the upper back (thoracic), lower back (lumbar), or both?
  3. When did the back pain start? Was it the result of an injury, repetitive strain, or does it have an unknown cause?
  4. Have you received any medical diagnosis or professional advice regarding your back pain?
  5. Have you experienced any other symptoms alongside the back pain, such as radiating pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs or arms?
  6. Have you tried any specific treatments or exercises in the past for your back pain? If so, did they provide any relief or aggravate the symptoms?
  7. How does your back pain impact your daily activities, such as work, exercise, or sleep?

These are honestly the right questions to ask. Assuming it is not a complex case, these questions can provide a healthcare provider with enough information about your pain. Think about it, your GP probably didn’t even ask as many questions about your pain!

We did submit our answers but the revised exercise list appeared to be randomly generated. They are pelvic tilts, bridge pose, superman, clamshell, and standing hip abduction.

3. “Discuss” pain management techniques

ChatGPT can provide general information on pain management strategies, such as heat or cold therapy, relaxation techniques, or over-the-counter pain medications. Do not expect this information to be specific to your case. Therefore, you should not take medication advice from ChatGPT. Your local pharmacist is the expert and can provide you with the right information, even if it is an over-the-counter pain relief.

If you want information on how to use a heat pack or ice pack, sure. ChatGPT can do that for you:

  • Choose a heat pack that is specifically designed for therapeutic use. You can find various options in the form of microwavable packs, electric heating pads, or heat wraps that adhere to your neck.
  • Follow the instructions provided with your chosen heat pack to prepare it for use. This may involve heating it in the microwave, plugging in an electric pad, or activating a self-heating wrap. Ensure that the heat pack is at a comfortable temperature and not too hot to avoid the risk of burns.
  • To prevent direct contact between the heat pack and your skin, wrap it in a thin towel or cloth. This acts as a protective barrier and prevents excessive heat exposure to your skin.
  • Gently place the wrapped heat pack on the back of your neck, targeting the area where you are experiencing pain or tension. Ensure that it covers the affected area adequately.
  • Allow the heat to penetrate the muscles and provide soothing relief. It’s important to avoid falling asleep with the heat pack in place to prevent prolonged exposure.
  • Typically, using a heat pack for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time is recommended. However, always follow the specific guidelines provided with your heat pack to ensure safe usage. If you experience any discomfort or irritation, discontinue use immediately.
  • Once you have completed the desired session, carefully remove the heat pack from your neck and allow your skin to cool down naturally. Ensure that the heat pack has cooled down before storing it.

The Role of ChatGPT in Your Rehabilitation Journey

square one active recovery, 12-week exercise programme
At Square One Active Recovery, we offer a 12-week exercise programme to help our clients find freedom from pain.

It is true that ChatGPT can provide information and suggestions relating to your pain and injury. Its responses, however, are generated based on patterns and information available on the internet. They are not specific recommendations that take your unique condition into consideration, no matter how much it appears to be so.

The biggest limitation is that ChatGPT lacks the dynamic and interactive nature of a real-time conversation between a patient and a healthcare provider. ChatGPT operates as a one-way process where it provides responses based on the input it receives, without the ability to ask follow-up questions, request clarifications, or gather additional information from the user.

What can your chiropractor offer you?

In a dynamic interaction with a healthcare provider, your chiropractor can actively listen, ask probing questions, and tailor their guidance based on the specific details and nuances shared by the patient. This personalised approach allows for a comprehensive understanding of the patient’s condition, medical history, and individual needs.

Consulting with a qualified healthcare provider ensures that you receive accurate, context-specific advice, and allows for a holistic assessment of your health. Our chiropractor, Jesse Cai, can identify the root causes of your pain, develop a personalised treatment plan, and provide you with the necessary support and guidance throughout your journey towards freedom from pain. Their specialised knowledge allows them to recommend appropriate interventions, such as medication, exercises, lifestyle modifications, or other therapies, tailored to your specific needs. They can also monitor your progress, make necessary adjustments to your treatment plan, and address any concerns or questions you may have along the way.

Remember, the expertise of healthcare providers combined with your active participation in the process is key to finding relief from pain and achieving better overall health and well-being.



Frustrated by the lack of results-driven and ethical chiropractic clinics in Singapore, Chiropractor Jesse Cai found Square One Active Recovery to deliver meaningful and sustainable pain solutions.

Our goal? To make our own services redundant to you.

*We do not offer temporary pain relief such as chiropractic adjustments, dry needling, or any form of soft tissue therapy.