You’ve just had your first physical therapy session and it was a huge success! Your therapist performed a thorough evaluation and explained their exam findings and a plan of care to address the impairments and improve your symptoms. You’ve gotten some relief and are looking forward to the next session. Now what? You may be asking, what do I do in the time between sessions to assist in your recovery? The time between appointments is just as important as the time spent in the office!

As physical therapists, we prescribe exercises. The exercises your therapist provide are based on the individualized exam performed in the evaluation. These exercises will include directions like the amount of repetitions and sets that should be performed weekly. The home program should progress as you demonstrate improved mobility and strength or modified if exacerbating the symptoms you currently present. If your home program was unclear, just ask!

Consistency is key. Just like any new skill, practice makes perfect. Like shooting free throws, practicing the exercises that your PT recommends routinely will help to progress your symptoms from injury to recovery. By sticking to an individualized program, and working through the exercises between sessions, your road to recovery will be well on its way!

Top 5 Tips to Keeping on Top of your Exercises

Having trouble finding the time or remembering to do your exercises?

  1. Make an appointment on your calendar with yourself at a time that is best for you. Keeping appointments with yourself is VITAL to mental and physical health. Think of it as important as a doctor appointment or business meeting.
  2. Set a reminder to stand up every hour. You will be amazed how just a brisk walk (even if it’s around your kitchen) will keep you relaxed and focused. 
  3. Need to get in a few stretches? Focus on them while waiting for your morning coffee to brew.
  4. Do you find yourself counting too fast for a stretch? Easy. Set a 30 second timer!
  5. If you have limited time to do your exercises, try splitting them up throughout the day. Don’t feel the pressure to complete them all at once. It’s simply important you finish them at some point during your day. And if life gets a little too crazy, give yourself a break!

Find what works for you, your schedule and develop a routine to help you maintain consistency!