Don’t Forget Your (PT) Homework – Recovery Success Starts with You

Imagine this: You’re in physical therapy to treat an injury or rehab after a procedure and your physical therapist has educated you during your sessions, provided guidance, and also given you specific exercises and stretches to do at home. Yet time gets away from you between work and family life; maybe you’re running kids to after-school activities or trying to keep up with your own hobbies or commitments…but before you know it, days have passed and you don’t remember the last time you did your physical therapy homework. Then the next time you have a physical therapy appointment, you complain that you just aren’t healing fast enough. Usually your therapist’s follow-up question is, “are you doing your exercises at home?” Sound familiar? If so, you have plenty of company- but you’re also responsible for part of your recovery – taking charge and following your PT’s recommendations and treatment plan often plays a huge role.

An Essential Ingredient 

If you were following a detailed recipe for a meal you probably wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t turn out quite right if you missed some important ingredients. Your recovery is similar to a complicated meal – and your physical therapy home program is definitely an essential “ingredient” that you have to add or you won’t achieve the same results. While it’s easy to overlook your home PT in favor of other activities or obligations, making it part of your regular routine can help keep you on track. In other words, don’t just show up on appointment days and expect your provider to do all the work!

Tailored to You

It’s important to remember that your physical therapist doesn’t just pull some exercises out of a hat. S/he will design and assign the best fitting stretches and exercises for home that will assist in strengthening, improving movement, mobility, and more. Your PT has seen and assessed you, and has created a home program specifically with you in mind. While it may feel like your PT is asking a lot of you, out of the 12 hours in your waking day, your home program is a minimal time commitment with maximum pay-off.

Talk to Your PT

If you’re having trouble sticking with your PT homework, struggle to perform the exercises, or have pain or issues during or after doing your exercises, make sure you bring it up at your next physical therapy session. Your PT can modify and adjust your home program to ensure that you’ll have the best possible chances for success. It’s important to be honest and let your provider know what you’re doing (or not doing) and how your home program is going. S/he will celebrate your successes with you and also listen to your concerns – but make sure that you bring any problems to your physical therapist as soon as possible so s/he can help get you on the right track.

At Body One Physical Therapy we know what it takes for a patient to succeed. We have five convenient locations so you can find one that works best for you:  North Indianapolis, Fishers, and Zionsville. Call us today and schedule an appointment with one of our expert providers and let us help you maximize your recovery!