Is My Home Exercise Really That Important?

When you come to A Body In Motion Rehabilitation for physiotherapy not only will you receive treatment while you are at the clinic but your physiotherapist will also create a personalized home exercise program (HEP) for you to do between your visits to the clinic.  The HEP can be anything from one quick stretch to a series of different stretches and exercises.  So how important are these home exercise programs?

If you are looking for the best possible results from your physiotherapy then the HEP is a key component to reaching your goals. Sticking to your HEP will not only speed up your healing process but it will also help prevent re injury.  To get the maximum benefits from your physiotherapy appointments it is important to do your HEP to help keep your muscles from regressing back to a dysfunctional state.  Research suggests that it takes 10 000 repetitions to retrain a dysfunctional muscle.  Unless you plan on moving into the clinic there is no way you can do all of those reps just in your appointments alone!! Therefore, following your prescribed exercises at home is necessary to get you feeling better!

Your in-clinic visits to A Body In Motion and your HEP go hand in hand.  Think of it this way…you wouldn’t expect a bacterial infection to clear up if you just take half of your prescribed antibiotics or you can’t live a healthy lifestyle by eating well once a week and you wouldn’t remove a cast on a broken arm weeks before the bone was healed.  The same applies for physiotherapy, without adhering to your HEP you won’t experience the maximum benefits from your treatment. Working on your prescribed exercises at home allows the physiotherapist to progress your physical therapy sessions to a more advanced level and also helps to improve your muscle memory which can lead to regaining function sooner and getting rid of pain quicker!  Keeping up with those exercises can help prevent setbacks and can keep your injury from reoccurring down the road.

So the question is…how do you add one more thing to your already busy schedule?  Here are some tips to help you commit to your HEP.

Understanding why the physiotherapist is prescribing the exercises and how they will benefit you can help you commit to your HEP.  If you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to discuss them with your physiotherapist.

Setting aside a specific time each day can help your home exercises become part of your daily routine.  Setting an alarm at that time each day or a reminder in your phone can be helpful.

Some exercises can be done while you are doing another everyday activity.  For example, doing calf raises while brushing your teeth or trying clam shells while watching your favourite tv show.

Tracking your exercises on your calendar or in an activity tracker can help motivate you to stick to them even on those days when you really don’t feel like it.

Exercising can be challenging and we understand that you have a busy lifestyle so it is important to communicate with your physiotherapist if you feel like your exercise program is not working for you and he/she will make any necessary changes.  At A Body In Motion Rehabilitation will work with you to create a HEP that is quick and manageable for you and we will always support and encourage you every step of the way!

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