Do Your Homework:
Why Physical Therapy Home Exercises Matter
You wake up to a beautiful Saturday morning excited about all of the fun activities you have planned for you and your family that day. Excited, you jump out of bed you immediately begin getting ready. Its nice to be able to move around without pain, and you are going to enjoy every minute of it.
It wasn’t long ago that you suffered from back pain and could barely get out of bed. A few weeks ago, a day like this would have been impossible for you to imagine. Now here you are literally jumping out of bed! Who could have guessed?
Thanks to your time in physical therapy you have experienced tremendous relief from your pain and every day gets better. Your therapist has created a great plan and you have been faithfully going to all of your appointments. Thank goodness, because today is going to be amazing!
The day goes as expected and you have a wonderful time. Unfortunately, by the end of the night, that old familiar ache in your back creeps in. It is about that time that you remember you had completely forgotten to do your home exercises!
On special days like this it is easy to understand how you could overlook doing your exercises, just this once. Especially, since your back is feeling much better now. Surely forgetting to do your exercises for one day isn’t going to derail all of your treatment.
You are right. Not doing your home exercises for one day most likely will not have significant impact on your physical therapy gains. However, when one day becomes two, or three, or more then the gains you worked so hard to achieve in physical therapy will begin to slip. It will start to affect the progress you are able to make in therapy and can take longer for you to complete your treatment.
Physical therapy is not a passive medical treatment. Physical therapy is a team effort with your therapist working with you as a guide. The therapist is trained to identify problems that are causing or contributing to your pain and then create for you a plan so that you can return to your life.
But the therapist is only part of the treatment. Honestly, it is the easiest part. The more difficult part, and the part that matters most is you wiliness and effort to actively work on that plan.
Most people find that during their physical therapy appointments they are able to work hard because there is someone there to cheer them on and encourage them.
The real benefits of any physical therapy plan are reaped when you are at home and following the exercises and activities the therapist planned for you.
It is here that you will learn to incorporate your exercises into your everyday life. You will find which chairs are best to sit in, which position is best to sleep in, where is the best place to practice your balance or perform your stretches.
The more you are able to infuse your exercise program into your home life, the more likely you are to continue the program well after you have been discharged from therapy.
From the first day you walk into the physical therapist office, your therapist is laying the groundwork for you to be successful and pain free for years to come. How? By giving you the tools, in the form of a home exercise program, that you can always use.
Missing one day of your home exercise program is not necessarily going to set you back in your treatment. Not doing your home exercises on a regular basis will. Not only will it set you back in your treatment, it wastes a valuable opportunity for you to stay healthy when your therapist is no longer there to cheer for you.
If you don’t remember the exercises that you were once given or feel as though you could really benefit from a home program, call your physical therapist today at 352-243-4422!