If you’ve ever gone through a course of physical therapy, in general, you should know how the process works. After conducting a thorough evaluation, your physical therapist will create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your impairments, improves your function and reduces pain. In addition to the interventions performed at the physical therapy clinic, most plans will also include a home-exercise program to be completed both during and after treatment has concluded.
These home-exercise programs are a necessary component to the rehabilitation process and help to ensure that the improvements made during treatment are sustained. Unfortunately, most people don’t actually follow through with them, as only 35% of patients have been found to fully adhere to their course of physical therapy care. At ARS Hand & Physical Therapy, we want to emphasize just how important home-exercise programs for your rehabilitation, and we encourage you not to neglect them.
When a physical therapist makes a treatment plan, every element involved plays a role in helping you improve. Since you can only see a physical therapist a few times a week, the home-exercise program is designed to help you continue the progress you make within the office at home, and it is especially important after your treatment concludes. Studies have shown that better adherence to these programs leads to greater improvements in pain, physical function and a patient’s perception on treatment, which means a much better overall outcome when the program is followed.
In most cases, there are certain barriers that prevent patients from completing these programs, and in this day and age, there can certainly be a number of them. Common barriers include lower levels of physical activity, a weekly schedule that’s too hectic, and lack of motivation or lack of interest in performing the exercises. As physical therapists, it’s one of our biggest challenges to get patients to be motivated enough to follow through with home-exercise programs, but we have a vested interest in your improvement and encourage you to be more of an active member of your rehab. Here are some tips to help you adhere to your next—or current—home-exercise program more closely:
- Schedule the program into your weekly and daily routine by setting aside a specific time block
- Understand that you can break up your routine throughout the day, so if you have only 15 minutes or so to spare, use that to complete some of your exercises
- Track your workouts, which will help you feel more accomplished afterwards
- Set short-term, measurable and attainable goals, which will help to improve your motivation after achieving them
- Be honest with your physical therapist; they won’t scold you if you’re slacking, but instead will offer additional motivation and support during the process
Ultimately, it’s up to you to take control of your rehabilitation in Springfield, NJ and decide how much you’d like to improve. By adhering to your home-exercise program, you can get the most out of the course of physical therapy prescribed for you, and in turn, you’ll experience the best outcome possible. For more information on home-exercise programs, or to schedule an appointment, contact ARS Hand & Physical Therapy in Springfield, NJ at 973-379-7006.