When you come to your physical therapy evaluation your therapist will probably tell you that you should come in 2 or 3 times per week, which can seem very daunting and time consuming. You may be finding it difficult to commit that much time with your busy schedule. When you have had a fresh injury or an onset of pain it is important to get PT right away to keep you moving and strong. It can take some time to regain mobility and strength, which is why it is important to have a trained therapist assist and progress you through a program without making anything worse. Coming in those 2-3x allows you to build that strength and receive manual therapy if appropriate to decrease pain and improve your function, which helps you participate in things you enjoy without pain. PT and exercise programs are not something you can do here and there. Having the skilled eyes and hands of a therapists ensures proper strength building and safety when working to eliminate your pain.
Another important part of compliance with PT is performing your home exercise program when you are not attending therapy. Therapists prescribe you safe and useful exercises to keep you moving and gaining strength while you are at home. If you do the exercises, you will ultimately feel better, allowing you to get through the day without hurting more quickly.
Lets talk about the other side of this situation – if you don’t get PT right away or you don’t come in as often as recommended. When you are in pain your body tries to protect you, which causes your muscles to shorten and spasm causing more pain while other ones shut down completely causing weakness. Another thing to remember is if you are trying to exercise at home, you may not be performing the correct regiment or executing an activity in a not so ideal way – which can add to your pain and make injuries worse. Some injuries can get worse if you do not care for them properly, so now an easy fix can be extended into a lengthier recovery time.