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Making Physical Therapy Work

12th June 2009 by Carol Posted in Uncategorized

If you have suffered a physical injury or have had some kind of surgery to repair or replace a joint, you will probably experience physical therapy. Generally, the physical therapist will assess your ability to move and will have you go through a series of activities designed to extend your range of motion, from manipulating weights to putting ice packs or heat on the affected area. In the physical therapy room, you may see a bunch of people in sweat suits, all in the same boat you are: needing to change how their physical bodies work.

Along with whatever exercises and other activities you do during the session, the physical therapist is likely to give you a set of exercises to do at home. These home exercises often make the difference between whether physical therapy works or not and how long you will have to be in physical therapy. In other words: if you do the home exercises, you will recover more quickly than if you simply rely on what can be done in sessions once or twice a week.

People often struggle with adding a new activity to their day, particularly one which is not terribly interesting and perhaps which they are not motivated to do. One of the best ways to add physical therapy exercises to your day is to do them before you get dressed in the morning. Take any equipment you need (therapy band, etc.) to your bedroom. You may find that you can do a lot of your exercises while still lying in bed. You can even put it on top of your shoes or underwear to remind you to do those exercises before doing anything else.

Putting off the exercise until some other part of the day often means the exercise never gets done because so many other things in our lives take up time. Sometimes physical therapists ask you to do certain exercises more than one time a day. If you do them in the morning, you will have a not-so-interesting activity out of the way and you will have completed at least one set of exercises, even if you have a hard time getting a second set done later in the day.

Physical therapy can really work; you can end up with a larger range of motion and significantly less pain. But in order for it to work, you have to put in your part-the practice. Do it first thing in the morning and then it’s done.

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