Whether you need to recover from an injury or your goal is to improve mobility limited by a disease like arthritis, the path toward wellness depends on physical therapy.
The treatments we provide at Prolete Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine lay the groundwork. However, the speed of your recovery and the overall results you achieve depend on following a home exercise program.
So yes, exercising on your own is part of your physical therapy. Here’s the information you need to know about the benefits of physical therapy and the importance of a home exercise program.
Benefits of physical therapy
We use an array of techniques, from manual therapy and structured exercise to joint mobilization and gait training, to help each person get relief from their pain, heal injured tissues, and regain strength, flexibility, and balance.
Every treatment we employ has a proven physical effect that improves your musculoskeletal system and general health:
The therapeutic results you gain during physical therapy include:
- Increasing blood and lymph circulation
- Decreasing inflammation
- Releasing scar tissue
- Restoring muscle strength
- Improving range of motion
- Promoting flexibility
- Rebuilding functional skills
- Reducing stress
- Correcting body mechanics and balance
Physical therapy builds the foundation of your recovery and rehabilitation, but optimum results require a second component: a home exercise program.
Why home exercise is essential
During your physical therapy sessions, you get treatments that target your specific injury or underlying disease. But you only have physical therapy a few times a week for a short time. To fully heal and restore your strength, you need to exercise at home between appointments.
When you stop exercising, you start losing ground. Circulation slows down, inflammation returns, and stiffness sets in. Additionally, you quickly lose muscle mass and strength.
This process, called muscle atrophy, occurs any time you’re inactive. It doesn’t matter if your inactivity is due to an illness, injury, or surgery, or you live a sedentary lifestyle. When you don’t regularly use your muscles, they begin to break down.
Physical therapy combined with a home exercise program reverses the problem, helping you regain muscle mass and strength. Consistently working your muscles, joints, ligaments, and other tissues is the only way to gain and maintain the full therapeutic benefits of your physical therapy.
You don’t do home exercise alone
Though you’re on your own when it comes to doing the work at home, you’re not left alone to figure out a good exercise regimen to follow. After we evaluate your condition and general health, we create an individualized physical therapy treatment plan that includes a home exercise program.
Your home exercise is carefully designed to complement your physical therapy and keep you on the road to health without pushing you too far. If you don’t exercise, you won’t improve. However, overexercising while you heal will reinjure the tissues and set you back.
As you make progress, we refine your home exercise program to meet your needs. We also show you how to do the exercises, ensuring you follow good form and obtain the most benefit from your regimen.
If you plan to return to competitive sports, your regimen incorporates sport-specific exercises as appropriate for your level of recovery.
Whether you need a gentle home program that gradually rebuilds your strength, or you need an aggressive home exercise regimen that gets you back into the game, the team at Prolete Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine can help.
To learn more about home-based exercise programs, call the office in Milford, Connecticut, or schedule an appointment online today.