Exercise therapy does work. It is a consistent top rated treatment for most orthopedic conditions. The most important aspect is to do the exercises. We all have a real struggle sticking with a program well enough to feel the benefits.
There are a few helpful hints to help you adhere to your prescribed program:
- Set time aside for your program. Exercises take time and need to be done regularly. Choose a time in the day that will work for you. Be honest with yourself and your physio as to what you will be able to do. If all you can find time for is 5 minutes, that is OK. Five minutes consistently is better than 30 minutes rarely. You may want to do 10 exercises for several problems but being successful with 2-3 exercises is a great start and will lead to benefits.
- Choose a location to do your exercises. Find a place that allows you to focus on yourself and your tasks. Most exercises can be modified for minimal space and equipment. Make sure there is enough space to move around. Remove clutter and distracting tasks. Work with your physio to develop a program to fit the space and equipment you have.
- Get a printout or digital copy of your program. It is easy to forget your exercises. Written or video instructions will help remind you of how to do them.
- Match your exercises to your goals. Exercise is a means of progressing your physical skills to improve function and achieve goals. Keep in mind that there are many steps to exercise progression to reach your goal.
A journey of 1000 miles begins with one step.No Pain, No Problem. Some exercise programs are designed to cause transient pain to increase resiliency. Sometimes they are designed for pain relief. Do the exercises to achieve your chosen result. If there is too much pain, stop. Try a gentler version or do them less far and hard. Talk to your physio and reevaluate the program. There are always ways to change the program to make it effective.
Progress regularly. You will improve and change, keep regular visits with your physio to progress and modify the program.
Article by Stan Metcalfe March 2023