The Importance of Your At-Home Physical Therapy Plan

Jan 13, 2016

Jenni Ribbens

by Jenni Ribbens
PT, DPT | South Chandler Location

Chandler physical therapy provider Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy offers the best possible care to patients of all ages suffering from a wide variety of injuries and conditions. We are dedicated to using the latest, most advanced techniques and individualized care plans to help you achieve your physical therapy goals as quickly as possible. To schedule a free injury assessment, simply go online here today. For more information about our services, follow our blog.
Jenni Ribbens obtained her Bachelor of Exercise Science from Calvin College and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy here in the Valley from A.T. Still University. As a passionate therapist, she describes why it is so important for patients to complete the home exercise programs their PTs prescribe.
Your physical therapy treatment goes hand in hand with a home exercise program, and both are essential in making your rehab more effective. Attending physical therapy 2-3 times a week but failing to do exercises at home is a common reason patients do not achieve the results they hoped for. Not doing exercises at home is like trying lose weight, but only eating healthy 2-3 times a week – it simply isn’t effective. Making sure you follow your home exercise program is imperative for you to achieve ideal results in the amount of time you desire.
Long-Term Goals and Success
The goal of physical therapy is to improve the body, or enable patients to resume activities they like to do without pain or limitations. This is achieved by restoring strength, improving range of motion, correcting movement patterns, and dealing with pain. In general, this process takes a long period of time. Luckily, Foothills provides every patient with a personalized at-home care plan that will help you make the most of your therapy.
Completing exercises at home teaches the body how to operate properly and develop muscle memory, meaning your body will learn to automatically move and function in the right way. You will progress more quickly at office visits and move closer to achieving goals. It might help you to think of doing exercises at home as a way to condition and prepare your body for its next therapy appointment. Practicing exercises allows you to maintain improvements and continue to make progress.
Barriers to Progress
As therapists, we understand that there can be many barriers preventing patients from doing their home exercise program. Problems can stem from a feeling of lack of progress, often causing a loss in motivation, or pain or discomfort when performing exercises.
If you feel there are any issues at all that prevent you from committing to your home program, it is important to communicate them to your therapist. Lacking motivation is one of the most common obstacles patients face. One way to overcome this is finding a friend or partner who can encourage you and hold you accountable. Pain or discomfort is another complaint, and you should discuss this with your PT. Some level of discomfort is expected, but pain can also be a sign that something is wrong. Your therapist can also help you if you think your at-home plan is not effective enough, and they can alter your program if needed.
Overcoming Struggles Together
Doing your home exercise program is a crucial part of therapy and recovery. Although it can be hard to make time to add another activity to your daily routine, it will allow you to get better as quickly as possible, and avoid re-injury. Therapists have your best interests in mind, so talk to them if you are having a hard time performing your exercises at home. Together you can work to pair office visits with an at-home program that effectively brings you back to full health. Contact us at our Chandler physical therapy location if you have any questions about your path to recovery. Looking to find a location near you? Visit our locations page.

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