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Why Physical Therapy Patients Need to Perform Home Exercise Programs

Home exercise programs are prescribed by your therapist and are chosen based on deficits that were discovered and assessed during your initial evaluation and/or continued treatments. Exercises can be composed of a combination of postural corrections for alignment, strengthening exercises, stretching exercises, recommended ergonomic corrections, or pain/inflammation management. Every program is different and specialized for you! Specific exercises are compiled to focus on underlying impairments that are effecting function; for example, limited flexibility, muscle imbalance, poor posture, muscle guarding, high pain level, coordination deficits, and strength limitations. As you progress in PT, the program will be modified and evolve to maintain and progress at your pace and tolerance.

These programs may seem like a small part of your recovery, however they are vital and require your attention! They may help you return more quickly to pain free movement and activities. Most people come to therapy 2- 3 times a week- doing your home exercises help with muscle memory, faster advancement, and gains with each session. Think about it like dieting- how will you get the best results? Dieting 2-3 days a week? Or dieting 7 days a week? (I know,I know – no one likes dieting and of course there will be cheat days, but dedication is key!)

Do you want to return to your favorite activities, hobbies, professional career or daily living activities more quickly and with less pain? YES PLEASE!

Keys To Success:

  • Schedule your exercise daily/ make it part of your routine. If you always wait until after you finish all your chores, work and other responsibilities- you will be too tired!

  • Switch the order of your exercise to avoid fatigue and to ensure all exercise get an equal chance! (Unless otherwise directed.

  • Self-assessment; check in with yourself first (pain, ROM, strength).

  • Do NOT discontinue just because you feel better! Keep up the good work! Prevention is key!

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