The Importance of Home Exercise During Physical Therapy

“Why do I have to do at-home exercises when I’m already going to physical therapy a few times every week?”

We hear this question a lot. Many people do not understand why they need to do their prescribed exercises at home in between appointments. At-home exercises are an important component of your overall treatment, though. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of home exercises during physical therapy.

Why Are Home Exercises Important During Physical Therapy?

physical therapy exercise

stretch flickr photo by adammcguffie shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

When you are evaluated for physical therapy, your therapist develops an individualized program based upon your specific situation and needs. The program typically consists of therapies which are performed in-office as well as exercises you will need to do both during your appointments and while you are at home.

Most patients spend about one to three hours per week at a physical therapist’s office. That is not a whole lot of time to spend working to correct a problem in your body. The exercises prescribed during therapy usually include stretches to improve flexibility, exercises to improve your posture and strengthening exercises to help make the muscles in the affected area stronger. Simply doing these exercises for a few hours each week while you are at your therapist’s office is unlikely to have a major impact.

Physical Therapy Appointments and Home Exercises Go Hand in Hand

Think of your home exercises as a vital component of your overall physical therapy plan. These exercises go hand in hand with the treatments you receive in the office, and skipping them decreases the overall effectiveness of the entire plan. The exercises you do at home help retrain your muscles and your body so they function how they are supposed to. They help you maintain gains between therapy sessions.

Even after you have been discharged from physical therapy, it is important to keep up with your home exercises. Patients who fail to do so often end up back in therapy. In most cases, they suffer from the same problem that brought them in the first time. Keeping up with exercises helps prevent your muscles from regressing back to a dysfunctional state.

At Denver Physical Therapy, we pride ourselves on creating customized programs that provide the results our patients need. To ensure the best possible results, though, it is vital that they commit to performing home exercises as recommended. If you are suffering from chronic pain and are willing to do what it takes to retrain your body, contact us today. You can reach us by calling 303-757-7280.