Ask your PT – home exercises

Q: I don’t always remember to do my physical therapy home exercises. What is the most important thing I can do for my recovery (especially if I forget these)?

You are not alone! One of the most common concerns that patients have is difficulty fitting home exercises into their busy schedules. Between the demands of work, school, and family it can feel hard to find any extra time to spare. Yet whether due to time constraints, discomfort, or simply slipping your mind, not performing your home exercises might at best delay recovery…but at worst prevent you from recovering and fully returning to your desired lifestyle. Let me explain why a good home exercise program is essential to maximizing recovery.

Your therapist typically designs your home exercise program specifically for you. The exercises,  stretches, posture reminders, and recommendations for pain and inflammation control are created to fit your unique recovery plan. As such, your program is very specific to your needs and your location on the road to recovery. Consider it a companion set of instructions for your rehabilitation and ignore it at your peril.

Sometimes, life does not allow you to put your recovery needs first. If that is the case, it’s time to have a frank and open discussion with your therapist. If your provider knows how much time you have, what equipment might be available, and your response thus far to your program, then s/he can further tailor or adjust the program to fit your needs. A well-crafted program meets your needs in not only individualized exercises, but also in realistic levels of difficulty and time.

Best to you in your continued progress!