Working with a physical therapist at in-clinic really helps a patient understand what’s going on in their body and how to best recover after an injury or surgery. These in-house sessions are critical at the early stages of treatment, but as time passes, patients tend to have more home-based physical therapy sessions and fewer clinical sessions. That’s because we work to give you the tools to progress on your own, which saves you both time and money.
With that said, patients often find it much easier to follow through with their physical therapy routine when they are in-house working with a PT. We want your home-bases exercises to be just as successful and beneficial as our clinical routines, but we know that a home-based therapy program presents some inherent obstacles. Below, we share some tips for succeeding with your home-based physical therapy sessions.
1. Prioritize Time
Even though you don’t need to take time out of your day to head into the clinic, you would be amazed at how many people say they struggle to find time to do their physical therapy sessions at home. Work and family life can get in the way, but it’s imperative that you prioritize your therapy and carve out time to get your exercises in. If that means waking up early or staying up 15 minutes later, so be it. One of the biggest challenges to home-based PT is simply finding the time to get it done. 15 minutes of daily therapy can prevent a lifetime of discomfort or limited mobility, so prioritize this time.
2. Create Your Space
Our clinic has specific areas where you can safely perform exercises, but you may find yourself lacking a dedicated space in your home. Find a quiet space with enough room that allows you to perform your exercises. Make this your space, and always try to do your therapy routine in this space. Let your family know that you’re not to be disturbed during this time unless it’s an emergency so you can focus on the task at hand. If you have the time and a space to do your exercises, you’ll find it much easier to follow through with your routine.
3. Daily Reminders
Another obstacle to following through with a home-based exercise routine is your will to actually do them. When you’re finding it hard to find the will to do your exercises, think back to those in-clinic sessions. You learned why you’re doing the exercises, what you’ll be able to do again assuming therapy is successful and what problems could arise if you skip therapy. Really think back to those discussions and weigh what you have to gain against what you stand to lose. That should be all the motivation you need to take a couple minutes to do your exercises.
4. Document Your Progress
Physical therapists are great at noticing all the progress you’ve made, but you may not see it as easily, or you may be focusing on one area of your health that you believe is still lacking. We often recommend that patients journal or find ways to document their recovery process. By writing down your functional ability and pain scores each day, you’ll be able to see how your body is responding to therapy and what actions are helping fuel your recovery.
5. Lean On Your PT
Finally, remember that your physical therapist can be a resource even when you’re not in the clinic. If you have questions about an exercise or your recovery, pick up the phone and give them a call or bring it up during your next session. Education and understanding generally helps to fuel follow through when a patient pursues a home-based therapy routine. Let us guide you along your road to recovery!
For more tips, or for assistance with your rehab, reach out to the experienced team at OrthoRehab Specialists today.