If you’ve had a serious injury, you may have been prescribed physical therapy (PT). Depending on the injury, at the onset, you’ll go to a facility where a medical professional teaches you the exercises and goes through a routine with you. In time, you’ll be sent home and given follow-through exercises to continue your care.
It’s unlikely you’ll have the exact same machines your therapist provided at the center. However, at home physical therapy can be easy with the right tools.
At Home Physical Therapy
First, be sure that you’re able to replicate the exercises your medical professional gave you. If you can’t, talk to them. You may not be ready to take the practice home if you can’t quite do the exercises without their assistance.
Then, if you’re ready for home care, here are a few items to keep in mind at home:
- Enlist the help of a friend or family member to set up a space in your home for your physical care.
- Get your family on board and let them know the importance of this space for your healing.
- Don’t take it down unless you have to (for space).
- Resist the urge to “skip a day.” You have these exercises for your healing and without them, your recovery is most likely to delay.
- Check in with your medical professional if something begins to hurt or if the exercises are negatively impacting you.
Tools for Physical Therapy
Depending on the injury, tools for physical therapy can vary from walking steps and ramps, to simulated walking paths with railings. There are different tools for different injuries, such as weights, elastic bands, and exercise balls. Some of these tools you could find at a gym, but while in physical therapy, having these tools in the comfort of your home can make recovery less stressful. You won’t feel rushed to yield the tools at home as you do at the gym.
Keep to the Schedule
Routine during physical therapy is imperative to recovery. Stick to your schedule and do the combinations. It’s easy to think that you’re done, especially weeks into at-home therapy. But, even when the home stretch is in sight, continue! There’s a science to recovery time and it’s important to follow it.
Ask for Help
The last thing you want is to get injured again. Even if the exercises don’t require someone assisting you, ask a friend or family member to be there with you, if possible. Physical therapy puts you on the way to recovery, but you’re not there yet. Someone helping to be your mirror ensuring you’re doing the steps correctly helps.
Check Back in with Your Therapist
At-home care doesn’t mean your therapist is hands off. You probably already have follow-up appointments scheduled, but in between, if you have questions or need help, contact your PT professional. You’ve built a relationship with the person who originally helped you, so don’t be afraid to reach back when needed.
If you feel like a couple of the tools your therapist used at your PT center worked best for your recovery, ask to do a combination of center PT and home PT. Some of the therapy tools at the center are expensive and unique, and going back in to use them is something you can discuss with your therapist.
Physical therapy is important for the recovery of the body after injury has occurred. Take care of yourself, follow the exercises, don’t skip the schedule, ask for support, and check back in with your therapist. This is a great recipe for getting back into shape.