Every year, around 50% of American adults develop a musculoskeletal injury (related to muscles and bones) that lasts more than three months. So, if you’ve suffered an injury or are experiencing balance and mobility issues, physical therapy can help you. In fact, planned and regular physical therapy can significantly reduce the dependence on opioids, avoid surgery and improve your quality of life.
Physical therapy has advantages in all phases of healing, from the time of injury and initial diagnosis through the various recovery stages and even during rehabilitation.
How to Do Physical Therapy at Home
Take the most important step: Suffering from chronic pain or have suffered a traumatic injury? The first tip is to stop procrastinating and get started with physical therapy today.
Consult a physical therapist: No, you don’t need to step out of your home for this. You can seek consultation for in-home physical therapy. This means you receive care and guidance from someone who has experience with your condition and can plan your routine, keep you motivated and answer your questions.
Prepare well: Although you’re at home, you need to be prepared. Keep all your records handy, including X-rays, MRIs, and doctor’s prescriptions related to the pain or injury. Do take notes when you consult your physical therapist. This will help you remember all the instructions and not repeatedly ask the same questions.
Dress right: Wear a loose-fitting t-shirt and workout pants (with a soft elastic waistband). Ensure your shoes are comfortable and have non-skid soles. Your clothes and footwear should be comfy even when you repeat exercises advised by your therapist.
Keep track: Make notes of your symptoms and put the date against them. This will help you discuss the symptoms with your at-home therapist and monitor improvements as your therapy progresses. Put down your goals here too. This is your wish-list of things you want to be able to do after the therapy, like getting out of bed without pain, lifting a heavy bowl, brisk walking for 30 minutes, and playing tennis. Don’t forget to celebrate each milestone you achieve.
Avoid overdoing it: Physical therapy will make you feel better, and this will keep you motivated. But it’s important to strictly follow the regime recommended by your therapist. Talk to your physical therapist before increasing the time or changing any exercise. Remember that they are specialists and will know how many sessions you should do in a day or a week. Don’t exercise harder or for longer, as this increases the chances of developing a new injury.
Be mindful of your body: The physical therapist will develop a treatment plan after thoroughly studying your condition and symptoms. However, some part of the routine may not suit you. In this case, your body will give you warning signals. If you experience any aches and pains, especially those that persist well after the sessions, discuss these with your therapist. An experienced physical therapist will know whether this is normal, or the treatment plan needs to be slightly altered.
You may find that soaking your injured muscle or bone in warm water or putting a heating pad or ice pack on makes you feel good. This is possible because heat relaxes sore muscles and increases blood flow. Cold helps reduce inflammation. These can reduce pain and improve your range of motion. However, these are only temporary measures. Do not stop physical therapy before your therapist suggests. Contact us today to discuss your at home physical therapy