Home exercises are usually given to patients at their first physical therapy visit and updated throughout the course of care. They are provided to reinforce what is completed during each visit and to eventually support the transition to independent management of the condition. Throughout the course of treatment, these exercises are checked frequently by the therapist for proper form and progression.
What is important to note, however, is that home exercises require compliance from the patient away from physical therapy. While some patients may not be familiar with exercising at home, others have very busy lives and struggle to find even a few free minutes. Nevertheless, home exercises are the foundation of an overall successful physical therapy program.
There are numerous benefits for patients to regularly complete the home exercise program prescribed by their physical therapist, including:
You can achieve more at physical therapy sessions.
You may be able to regain function sooner and relieve pain quicker.
A home exercise program is sometimes the beginning of a new active lifestyle.
Home exercises continued after discharge may help avoid reoccurrence of the condition.
Home exercises can lead to permanent, positive habits.
Home exercises may feel uncomfortable, especially if the exercises are new. However, patients should feel confident that their therapist will ensure they are using proper form before sending them home with an exercise program. That said, it is important to keep in mind that the exercises should not be painful. If there are ever questions about the home exercise program, patients should not hesitate to talk to their physical therapist. He or she can tailor the exercises around each patient’s individual needs or concerns to ensure success.
As stated before, home exercises are the cornerstone of a successful physical therapy program. Home exercises can reduce the likelihood of setbacks in physical therapy and can sometimes be the beginning of a brand new active lifestyle. Ultimately, home exercises can help patients make the most of their time at physical therapy and beyond.
If you’re interested in learning more, request an appointment with an Athletico physical therapist near you!
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
I liked what you said about how working on foundational exercises at home will allow you to dive into more advanced therapeutic exercises during therapy. My friend just got into a car accident and will be doing physical therapy at home to help her recover, so I want to do what I can to support her. Thank you for the information about how supporting her in the home exercises will help improve her muscle memory.
This is very true! Will consider this moving forward 🙂