Doing Your Homework: 5 Must-Have Tips on How to Keep up with Your Physical Therapy at Home

Doing Your Homework: 5 Must-Have Tips on How to Keep up with Your Physical Therapy at Home
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Turning to a physical therapist is the first step to eliminating the pain you may be experiencing. A therapist can prescribe a course of action, including at-home exercises, to overcome injury or pain.

But did you know only 35% of physical therapy patients fully comply with their instructions? That number is shocking at first, but at second glance, the results are more understandable.

Patients begin their therapy plan to eliminate or reduce the pain they are feeling. When that feeling goes away, they stop doing their exercises, even though they have not completed their recovery treatment.

In other words, pain is a great motivator. But once the pain subsides, many patients find it difficult to motivate themselves to do their at-home physical therapy exercises.

Does this sound familiar? Continue reading to discover five must-know tips to stay on top of your physical therapy regime.

1. Strategize

Physical therapists usually prescribe exercise programs meant to last 20 minutes or less.

You can break up your exercises and strategize to include them into your day. For busy people, we recommend multitasking. For example, you can do stretches while you eat lunch. Maybe you can do your squats or leg lifts while brushing your teeth.

Think about ways you can strategize to incorporate your exercises into your daily routine now. And come up with ways to make it easy on yourself.

One popular solution is to set your exercise clothes next to your bed so you can do your therapy immediately when you wake up. Then you don't have to worry about it the rest of the day.

2. Make Your Physical Therapy Exercises a Priority

Productivity experts often advise accomplishing your most important task first thing in the day. It's a simple way to win the day.

That time may not work for you. But if you make it a top priority, you'll be able to find time to do it.

Also, prioritize your exercises. You may find it hard to squeeze all of your exercises into your day. In this case, ask your doctor which exercises are most important. Ask your physical therapist to create a shorter workout that accomplishes the same health goals.

3. Schedule Your Exercise

How long do you need to complete your exercises? Block of the appropriate time on your calendar for at-home exercises on days when you don't have physical therapy.

Think of your at-home sessions as being equal in importance to your PT appointments, because they are. Remember, your routine shouldn't take that long and in a few minutes, you will be done.

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4. Set an Alarm

Phone alarms are a great reminder to help you get things done. It's easy to get caught up in the events of the day and completely miss the time you have set aside for exercise.

Set your alarm for a time when you are usually free. You may have time in the morning, or perhaps it's the last thing you do before bed. But when you hear the alarm, don't hesitate. It's time to work, and soon you will feel great after completing your exercises.

5. Get Necessary Equipment for Your Home

Going to PT is nice because your doctor usually has exercise machines that really help you progress. But did you know many physical therapy devices are available to rent or buy?

For example, you can rent a Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) machine. Just do a Google search for CPM machine rental near me and you may be surprised at what you can find locally.

Final Thoughts

Motivating yourself to do your physical therapy exercises is easier when you know your “why.” By having a clear and compelling goal, you will always recognize the importance of staying on the program.

For instance, you may want to recover so you can walk without pain, play tennis, or play with your children. What's your goal? Put a note on your mirror or bedside to remind yourself of why you are doing physical therapy in the first place.

If you like this article, please share it so others might find it helpful too. And keep browsing our health section as we post new articles daily.

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My mother shattered her ankle bone six months ago and she is starting physical therapy soon. I want her to stick to a schedule so she can recover as soon as possible. And I really liked your tip to set an alarm as a reminder to do the exercises.

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