Physical therapy is only as good as the effort you put into it. If you are going to take the time to see a PT, then you will recover faster if you DO your home exercises. We are all busy, however, it takes time and dedication to see improvements. To make the most of your PT treatment, follow these tips for how to stick with your home exercise program.
1. Be honest. When working with a physical therapist, be honest about the amount of time you have to do exercises. You will have to make allowances to find some time for them, but if you realistically will only do 15 minutes first thing in the morning and 15 minutes before bed, talk to your therapist and ask for a routine that fits your schedule. It might not always be possible, but talking through when and where you’ll be doing your exercises will help shape your program into something that works for you.
2. Be consistent. Set a reminder on your phone, schedule it on your calendar, post a note on the fridge or your bathroom mirror or your TV, whatever you need to do to remind yourself to do your exercises. Try creating a spreadsheet to check off each day or give yourself a gold star for completing your exercises. Consistency is key.
3. Make revisions. If you’re struggling with an exercise go back to your therapist and get tips for how to do the exercise correctly or for an alternative exercise. You don’t want to practice something that doesn’t feel right. This isn’t an excuse to stop, it’s a step toward making things better, so don’t put it off. Ask for a picture or video of how to do the exercise correctly if you forget when you get home.
4. Think about your goals. There are always times when motivation is lacking. During those times you have to remind yourself what your goal is. Whether you’re trying to walk pain-free, or improve your dance performance, or gain mobility so you can play on the floor with your grandkids, your goals are important. Remind yourself of the big picture when you don’t feel like doing your exercises, and then get back to them.
For more tips on how to stick with your home exercise program, check out this article. Ready to start a home exercise program? Start with the “Organize Your Body” routine. Print out a copy of the picture to follow at home.
Looking for a physical therapist to help you achieve your goals? Call 410.381.1574 or email admin@LARPT.com to schedule an evaluation.