Physiotherapy can be an incredible tool. Whether you’re recovering from a car accident, sports injury, poor posture, or any number of other physical limitations, physiotherapy has been proven time and again that it’s an invaluable treatment.
There’s a reason it’s so widely recommended: it truly helps. And when done right, it can be transformative.
However, it’s vital to remember that physiotherapy sessions will make up just a small part of your life, even if you’re going more than once a week. Without proper maintenance and practice between those sessions, you won’t make the quick, healthy progress that you’re looking for. In other words, physiotherapy takes work on your end.
No matter what kind of physical issue you’re experiencing, keeping up with your physiotherapy exercises will:
- Maintain the recovery progress you’ve made so far
- Reduce the risk of future injuries and issues
- Help you build strength and flexibility
- Speed up your recovery and get you back to your life sooner
So, what should you be doing between physiotherapy treatments? What are the best ways to ensure you’re making steady progress towards your goals? These are the top five things I always recommend you do between physiotherapy sessions.
1. Consider your home routine
In most cases, you will be provided with a list of physiotherapy exercises and some education with what to do (or stop doing) at home between sessions. These exercises can vary dramatically depending on your situation and issue. Your homework might be to perform a neck stretch three times per day, or it might be a pilates-based matwork routine to help strengthen your core.
It’s really important that you take the time to understand the big picture benefits and goals of your home routine. I emphasize in my sessions that you should understand why you’re doing each exercise, clarify the technique between proper and how and where you should feel it, when correctly. If an exercise isn’t working for you, or you aren’t able to fit it into your life, please let me know and I’ll recommend some modifications.
2. Be patient with yourself while forming habits
Once you’ve gotten a clear understanding of your home routine, it’s time to work it into your life! Some people find this simple, but others struggle to stay consistent—and that’s okay.
It’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed at first. The best way to incorporate the new routine into your lifestyle is to attach it to habits you already do and schedule it in, just like it’s a meeting or an appointment. Try to do your exercises at the same time(s) each day. If you can add it into other activities you’re already doing, that’s even better!
At the same time, I know from experience that life sometimes gets in the way. Perhaps you’re having a busy day and completely forget to do it. Maybe you’re in pain or tired, and it feels like too much to put yourself through that day. In any case, you’ll likely miss a day here or there.
Don’t worry about it too much. Missing a day of your exercise routine is only a failure if you let it derail you for good.
Forgive yourself. Be patient as you work through the turbulent journey of recovery. Do your best to get back at it the next day, and keep persevering towards your health goals.
3. Hydrate and breathe
Hydration is a crucial part of the body’s natural healing process, so ensuring you’re getting enough water throughout the day can have a huge impact on your progress overall. Drinking water can also help you reduce soreness after physiotherapy exercises and improve cellular health throughout the body. You should be aiming to drink about 3-4 litres of water per day.
Breathing is such an important part of physiotherapy and regular activity as well that I wrote an entire blog post about it. Seriously, breathing not only destresses you, it’s also such an easy thing to do in between your sessions.
4. Get active outside
In my opinion, few things promote a healthy lifestyle and a smooth recovery like being active outdoors. Whether you play a team sport like soccer, hockey, or pickleball, or you prefer solo activities like swimming or biking, the benefits of outdoor activity are countless.
Even if you’re not able to play your preferred sport at the moment, doing lighter activities outside is also a great idea—even if it’s a simple walk through the park. Not only will it get you moving and help your body recover, but also the fresh air will help relax your mind, which can relax your body as well.
5. Invest in equipment to use at home
Many of my clients find it useful to create a space at home to do more advanced physiotherapy exercises, using a lot of the same tools you’d find in my studio. From therapy balls to resistance bands, these items can provide the focused exercise you need to target your physical issue and recover sooner.
If you have physiotherapy tools at home, be sure to let me know. I’ll be able to recommend exercises using them to improve your condition and speed up recovery. I also have a lot more to share with you on how to use your tools specifically for your issue, as opposed to “Dr. Google” or “Dr. YouTube.”
Get started with physiotherapy—and everything in between
Despite its amazing benefits, 1 hour of physiotherapy doesn’t outweigh the other 23 hours in a day. If you want to see recovery and true improvement, being proactive and disciplined about your home routine and habits is essential.
Are you searching for a physiotherapist to help you get back to your life? With 25 years of experience, I can help create a personalized treatment plan to help you feel better, and maybe even better than ever! Between my focused, effective sessions in the studio, as well as a comprehensive and flexible home treatment plan, you’ll begin to notice improvements in just a few sessions.
To learn more about my work as a physiotherapist, or to book a consultation today, get in touch.