If you’re like most physiotherapy patients, you have a home program that your physiotherapist expects you to stick to. Although it requires persistence, dedication and time, a home program is essential to your meeting whatever therapy goals you may have.
Despite the importance of a home program, only about 35 percent of physiotherapy patients follow theirs. Do you?
Is Recovery Up to the Patient or the Physiotherapist?
Some people mistakenly assume that their recovery is up to their physiotherapist. This is not the case! A physiotherapist may see you anywhere from once a week to several times a week, depending upon the type and severity of your injuries. That is simply not enough time to restore your body to functionality. It is only when you perform your assigned exercises at home AND consistently attend your therapy sessions that you’ll regain your health.
Physiotherapy takes work. And, if you neglect your home program, you may only reap menial results. On the other hand, strict adherence to your program will probably result in major health gains. The choice is yours.
How to Give Your Physiotherapy Home Program All You’ve Got
Before you give up (or ease up) on your physiotherapy home program…
1. Remind yourself of your goals – Why did you pursue physiotherapy? Maybe you had back pain that interfered with your job or prevented you from picking up your grandchildren. Or, perhaps you wanted to fully recover from knee or hip surgery. Whatever your reasons may be, remind yourself of why you started physiotherapy. If you want to REALLY encourage yourself, print out photos that remind you of your physiotherapy goals and plaster them someplace where you will see them everyday.
2. Look until you find ‘the one’ – People who have a goal of meeting the love of their life won’t settle for just anybody. No, they date until they meet ‘the one’. Similarly, people who have a goal to regain their health via physiotherapy also must look for the right physiotherapist, ‘the one’ they will click with and will hold them accountable for their home program and therapy attendance. If you are unhappy with your current physiotherapist, politely let him or her know and ask for a referral to another professional.
3. Set aside time for your program – Most people give up on their physiotherapy home program because they claim they don’t have time for it. Have you ever heard the saying, “You have time for what you make time for”? There’s a lot of truth to it. It’s easy to make time for things we enjoy doing, but it’s another story when it comes to activities that are challenging. You may have an easier journey with your home program if you set aside time early in the day to devote to it.
As a side note, if you consistently avoid your home program, it may be too strenuous for you. If this is the case, TELL your physiotherapist that your home program is too hard. He or she can modify it to a level of difficulty that is reasonable for you.
Have you been successful with your physiotherapy home program? If so, we would love to hear how you encouraged yourself and stayed the course. Leave a comment in the section below!