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Focus Physiotherapy offers Post-Surgery Physiotherapy Rehabilitation to patients of all ages.

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Exercise Prescription – Why Physios Give You Homework

January 26, 2016

What is our role as your physio?

Generally people come to see us if they have pain, stiffness or weakness.  Symptoms can come in many different forms and their effects are very personal and dependent on a multitude of factors.  They can be a result of a specific injury or disease, age related or have been acquired at birth.   Either way physiotherapists are highly trained professionals who use physical means to diagnose and help people overcome movement disorders.

The evidence

Research shows (1) that specific exercise and progression of that exercise is an effective way to reduce pain and improve function (your ability to perform everyday tasks, work or play sport without symptoms) in people with chronic back pain, osteoarthritis and a whole host of disorders.  So it makes sense that this commonly becomes a part of your management plan.

Communication is essential

Of course it is important to know why you are performing the exercise you have been set.  Otherwise, why do it?

Education is the key here and understanding your diagnosis in the first place is an essential method of securing exercise compliance. Compliance with exercise is also linked to perceived benefits (for example, does it help you sit longer at work or sleep undisturbed?).

Handing you the reins

At Focus Physiotherapy, we will commonly use a variety of methods from our bag of tricks to achieve the result you are after.  One of these is almost always exercise prescription – homework for you to help yourself.

People respond well to carefully selected treatment options in the clinic but anecdotally pain and function improve more quickly if you have the power to self –treat once you leave us. We are using PhysiApp to deliver videos direct to your phone to facilitate this.  Simply click here for free and we will do the rest.

It is important to tailor an exercise program to your lifestyle.  For example, if you are an office worker you will benefit from a couple of quick easy exercises to do at your work station or in the office.  If you go to the gym already then incorporating a few new moves there could make all the difference.

In summary:

  • the evidence is abundantly in favour of exercise prescription.
  • it is our job to communicate effectively with you about your diagnosis and set realistic goals.
  • it is important to refresh these goals regularly and provide you with visual aids so your technique is spot on.
  • We understand completely that it is difficult to squeeze an exercise routine into an already busy life.  This is why we try to minimise the impact on your life whilst maximising the benefits for you.
  • Keep up the great work!  We love to help you make a difference for good.

(1)    Reference: Macedo LG, Latimer J, Maher CG. Effect of motor control exercises versus graded activity in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Phys Ther. 2012;92(3):363-377

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