The Importance of The Home Exercise Program

By Debbie Rockett, PT

The Importance Of The Home Exercise Program

The Importance Of The Home Exercise Program explained. The definition of Physical Therapy is the treatment of physical dysfunction or injury by the use of therapeutic exercise and by the application of modalities intended to restore or facilitate normal function or development.

image of female doing yoga pose with pet dog

Yoga is a great home exercise program.

As orthopedic therapists, we address both surgical and non-surgical presentations. Patients present with problems including pain, stiffness, weakness, and loss of joint motion that will prevent or restrict normal function.

Visits to the therapist may be only a few or extend for several weeks depending on the problem in question. Success in achieving patient-desired goals is in part dependent on what you do or not do outside the Physical Therapy department. One of the most important things a patient can do is the home exercise program.

Why is it important to do the Home exercise program?

Patients typically spend one-to-two hours in physical therapy, anywhere from one to three times a week.  Successful outcomes depend on regular exercises and self-management to achieve goals in a timely manner.  The pec stretch picture below is an illustration picture of an exercise that you would do in a home exercise program.

Pec stretch

Pect Stretch or doorway stretch

How do exercises address different problems?

Joint swelling– Whether due to surgery, injury, or even without a specific cause, swelling in and around a joint quickly alters muscle function and balance in a short space of time. The therapist’s gentle exercises help maintain and restore muscle function, reduce swelling, and prevent further problems.

Decreased flexibility – Poorly addressed by so many people, stretching is often ignored or given minimal attention. Good flexibility assists with correct joint motion and overall function.

Range of motion – If you have just had surgery or lack joint motion for other reasons, it is important to regain motion for the joint to function corrected.

Muscle weakness – Muscle weakness leads to poor posture and poor support of a joint. If joint support is weak, joint damage can occur more easily. Strengthening takes time and effort on the part of the patient. The home program is vital in contributing to this goal.

Pain – Pain is one of the biggest subjective complaints from patients that bring them to the Physical Therapy department. Many factors that contribute to pain include those discussed thus far. Other factors used to address pain include medications and modalities used in the department and a percentage of the time resting the joint when appropriate. Once pain management is under control, exercise will always be an important factor in rehabilitating the body part in question.

Physical Therapy in Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute offers physical therapy at 12 convenient locations across Northeast Florida. Physical therapy is a conservative approach to treating disease, injury, or deformity. Our therapists utilize the latest technologies and techniques in exercise, manual therapy, and education to provide superior preventative and conservative treatment. Your therapist can provide you with the appropriate exercises you need and answer any questions you may have.

We can give you a print out of your home exercise program or we can give you an electronic version.  But, the most important aspect is that you YOU DO THE HOME EXERCISE PROGRAM!

Here is an example of a video home exercise program for the hip by JOI Rehab.

Image of emily barton dpt in hip exercises introduction video


Article By: Debbie Rockett, PT

To make an appointment with a JOI Physical Therapist, call 904-858-7045.

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