Can a physiotherapy home exercise program (HEP) be fun for a patient? It all depends on how an individual views and approaches it. Patients often recover or make progress only to the degree that they participate in their physiotherapy home exercise programs. This makes perfect sense when you consider what an HEP is and accomplishes.
What is a Physiotherapy Home Exercise Program?
Most of the time, physiotherapists want their patients to perform specific exercises at home daily, not just in a physiotherapy clinic once or twice a week. Why? Because, bodies respond well to consistency. With this in mind, physiotherapists design individualized home programs comprised of exercises that are appropriate to perform in a non-clinical setting. Those who adhere to their home exercise programs usually make great gains in their recovery.
Most People Don’t Adhere to Their Physiotherapy Home Exercise Program
Physiotherapy home exercise programs are designed with a person’s lifestyle in mind. Physiotherapists know people are busy, and they create HEPs that don’t take up too much time or require special equipment. Regardless of this, at least 50% of patients don’t adhere to their physiotherapy home exercise programs. Physiopedia said,
“…in general, patients adhere poorly to their prescribed home program. Non-adherence to a home exercise program has been shown to be as high as 50-65% for general MSK conditions. In the low back pain patient population, non-adherence to home exercise has been shown to be as high as 50-70%.”
3 Physiotherapy Home Exercise Program Hacks
Why is it that 50-70% of individuals shy away from exercising at home? A few reasons are that they are in physical pain, they aren’t used to exercising in general, and they don’t believe the exercises will make a difference. The good news is that anyone can overcome these barriers and make an HEP a success. Hacks like these will get physiotherapy patients back on track with their home exercise programs:
- Give positivity a try – Positive thinking isn’t a cure-all for every problem, but it is a major boon to physiotherapy patients wanting to see real results. Recovery can be hard, and a patient must resolve to be his or her own cheerleader during the physiotherapy process.
- Clarify the personal purpose of your program – The purpose of your physiotherapy home exercise program is to help you reach your health-related goals. But, besides wanting to feel better, why do you want to reach those goals? Do you wish to alleviate back pain so that you can hold your children or grandchildren? Do you want to be able to ride your motorcycle again? Would you love to return to a career that is physically demanding? Clarify the personal purpose of your HEP, and it will be easier to follow. U.S. News staff writer Anna Medaris Miller wrote, “Identifying a broader purpose for being in good health – whether it’s going to the Olympics or being able to bike ride with your partner – is a great way to stay committed to your at-home regimen. When you link your treatment to the kind of person you want to be, it can help you stay motivated for the long haul.”
- Tell your physiotherapist that you lack motivation – If you’ve been skipping your physiotherapy homework, tell your physiotherapist. Such information can help him or her figure out why you are avoiding the homework and understanding how to best motivate you.
What hacks have kept you on track with your physiotherapy home exercise program?