Depending on the reason a patient is prescribed physical therapy, one common factor for every patient who has physical therapy is that they will be taught a series of home exercises to continue doing.
While those therapy sessions a patient attends at a therapy facility are immensely important, for best results the remainder of the week should include continuing therapy at home. By doing the additional exercises the therapist suggests, your function can be restored much more quickly.
Let’s talk about some of the Best Practices of home-based physical therapy so you can achieve optimum results and get back your normal functioning again:
Get a Partner
When a patient is undergoing physical therapy at a facility, they have a therapist present to push them. Most of us are less motivated to push ourselves when in the comfort of our own home, so enlisting a partner can greatly help encourage adherence to the plan.
Stay on a Schedule
People who procrastinate can benefit by setting an alarm and scheduling their home-based exercises. Rather than waiting until that perfect moment of free time, or waiting until you “feel” like it, put yourself on a schedule.
When that alarm sounds, drop whatever else you’re doing and do your physical therapy exercises. Remind yourself: Getting stronger and feeling better is important, isn’t it? You can finish other tasks around and after those exercises, and you’ll actually have more energy – not less.
Keep Track of Progress and Pain
Track your progress and your pain levels on a chart, and update it constantly. Keep the chart on the refrigerator or your desk, or wherever you’re sure to see it throughout the day and not ignore it.
That way, you’ll be able to see and feel the results. If the pain was a 9 at the start of your physical therapy sessions and is now a 6, that is a noticeable change. That self-feedback can help provide motivation on days when it feels difficult to get started.
Prioritize Important Exercises
For a person who is constantly busy, setting the appropriate time aside daily can be increasingly difficult, especially as strength and endurance improve – and you feel like you don’t need it anymore. Decide which exercises are critical, or ask your therapist which exercises are most important. That way, the most important and beneficial exercises get done, even if some others cannot.
Physical Therapy in Central Maryland
If you are scheduling surgery, trying to avoid it, or have an interest in undertaking a new physical activity, contact a physical therapist. Your therapist will work with you to create a custom-tailored exercise plan that you will enjoy and benefit from.
Schedule a physical therapy session with our team at the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland. We have convenient locations in Columbia, Eldersburg, and Catonsville, and our physical therapists can work together here with our physicians and physician assistants to determine the best exercises to help you achieve your goals.
Call us today at (410) 644-1880 or schedule an appointment online now, and experience the benefits of physical therapy for yourself!