A Novel Written By All Physiotherapists
At Sydney Physio Clinic, we often have regular clients who do not do their exercises prescribed to them. Patients are therefore disappointed when they don’t see any visible results or have recurring problems. We get it, they’re hard, they’re often uncomfortable, they’re repetitive and monotonous. Why do we give them to you? For fun? No. To watch you suffer? No. We give you these exercises to help you. We give them to you to help build strength, maintain agility, avoid arthritis and avoid further injury. Patients often don’t want to do their rehab exercises because they are often painful, inconvenient and time consuming. Patients also think often that if the pain has ceased or they feel better that they no longer need to continue. This can lead to further strain, damage and injury. Need we repeat, do your prescribed physio exercises.
The good thing about doing your rehab exercises is that it increases strength, can often improve conditions and will decrease pain symptoms often while also strengthening your joints. A common complaint that we hear are often that patients don’t have enough time in the day to do their rehab exercises.
Incorporating Your Rehab Exercises into Your Day
Some tips for how to incorporate your rehab exercises into your every day routine are as follows:
- Incorporate your rehab exercises into your regular exercise regime. In this, dedicate 5- 10 minutes of your workout to doing your rehab exercises, this will decrease stiffness, soreness and help mobilize the joints. Think of it as a preliminary stretch.
- Schedule it in, studies have shown that humans respond well to routine. I know we’re all busy but just remember that peak athletes dedicate their lives to their bodies and their physio after surgery and you can do the same. Your body is a temple and as such you need to treat it so. Remember, you have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyoncè. Put a little calendar by your bed and you can tick off the box each day you’ve done your physio exercises.
- Alternatively, no one at work times your bathroom breaks, and if they do, get another job. Dedicate five minutes per day at work to take yourself to a quiet corner and perform your physio exercises. Alternatively, do your physio exercises behind or underneath your desk. If anyone asks what you’re doing on the ground, simply say you’re searching for the stapler.
- Lunch hours are also a great time to do physio exercises. Gather round some friends and you can all perform exercises during your lunch break and encourage each other. Alternatively, if your rehab regime includes leg stretches, stretch while eating your lunch. If your rehab requires arm stretches, while reaching for the coffee mug in the kitchen, incorporate these stretches. It’s all about incorporating exercises to ensure maximum rehabilitation, but it certainly requires your co- operation especially post operation (can you hear my frustration?)
- Why not do your exercises while waiting for the train or the bus or even a traffic light? Should your exercise regime include a wall squat: Find a wall, squat against it. I’m fairly certain there are a fair few of them around.
- We all need stronger limbs, while the exercises may seem pointless and repetitious, why don’t you challenge your friend to a physio exercise off? Find another friend who is needing to do their physio exercises and organize a catch up. While you guys have a chat, or before or after you have dinner, do your physio exercises together. Or ask: would you mind if I did my physio while we talk? You can also get them to help you, people intrinsically love helping other people so they would be happy to do it.
Compliance Is A Team Job
The number one aim at Sydney Physio Clinic is your wellbeing, because we care about you, and we’re not happy until you’re happy. The take home message from this article is, DO your physio exercises. When you don’t do them you let us down, but most importantly, you let yourself down. In the words of someone who’s name I can’t remember, we can’t help you unless you help yourself.
Now the cliched tongue in cheek rant is over, we are aware it is our job at Sydney Physio Clinic to get you back to where you want to be. We are busy people ourselves and totally understand everyone is different and there may be many variables in someone’s day that play a role in adherence to any prescribed rehabilitation program. We always appreciate feedback and patient input regarding how to tailor our approach to help improve your compliance and overall experience at the clinic.
Disclaimer: Sydney Physio Clinic provides this information as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance on The Importance Of Being Earnest (With Doing Your Rehab Exercises) should consult his or her physiotherapist or take a good long look in the mirror.