If you have seen a physio before, you are bound to have received some form of home exercise programme (HEP). This is to be maintained between your sessions. Following that, your physio may progress or alter them as you improve or as pain reduces.
Despite the many benefits of doing these exercises, many people struggle to complete them as prescribed. This, in part, can be down to several reasons. Are the exercises unachievable? Do they take too long to complete? Do you struggle to find the time? Are they too difficult? Or… sometimes the harsher reality – have you just been a bit lazy with them?
Sometimes the conversation needs to be had with a patient that they need to be more consistent with your exercises. Unfortunately, physiotherapy treatment is not a one-size fits all or one session miracle cure. Yes, we can create adaptations or reduce pain in-session. However, it is the days following until your next appointment that really matter.
Think of it this way; we, as physiotherapists, give you a ‘head start’ in a race. If you had a head start and began the race a lap ahead, you wouldn’t slow down and let everyone else catch up with you. You’d take advantage of this head start and continue full steam ahead to win the race. therefore your HEP is this head start, or more aptly put, a facilitation to allow you to do x, y and z that will progress you on your way to better function or reduced pain.
The exercises given can be prescribed for various reasons: improve strength, improve range of motion, improve co-ordination, or to improve stability. As much as people think we are hard task masters, we don’t give an exercise to someone just for fun! Usually, the exercises given are individualised to your needs; to help with strength, range of motion, co-ordination or stability – whatever it may be.
If you struggle to fit them in, or they are too difficult, or they just don’t work, for whatever reason, then talk to your physiotherapist. They won’t be offended. Our aim should be to give you the best possible chance of maintaining these exercises. Everyone’s lifestyle, physical activity levels or history will be different, but that shouldn’t mean you are less or more able to do exercises than the next person.
The benefits of being consistent with your HEP is crucial in your rehabilitation from whatever injury you have. Gone are the days unfortunately where a massage solves the problem. Yes, it might aid in allow more range of your shoulder to allow you to reach overhead, but it is the consistency to maintain this range long-term that is the important part.
This was not meant to be a ‘lecture’ that your mum, teachers, or boss might give you when you don’t do something; but more of an insight into why we as physio’s sometimes get frustrated at inconsistency with HEP’s – we want to see you succeed just as much as you do. And maybe too, to give you a little more understanding of why we actually give you exercises…if you think we do it just for fun!
If you have any questions about neck, back, shoulder or elbow pain, or would like to book an appointment to see a physiotherapist, please click here to book. Book Online – Physioflexx Ayrshire
For all enquiries : Contact – Physioflexx Ayrshire on 01560 483200.