Why do I have to do my home exercise program?
During your first physical therapy evaluation, more than likely your physical therapist is going to instruct
you in a series of exercises or stretches to perform at home, also known as your home exercise program.
Sometimes it can seem daunting trying to get those exercises completed when you are already leading a
busy life, but I assure you that they are important to your healing process and will help you get better
During our evaluation process, the physical therapist is asking you questions, poking, prodding, and
assessing to figure out what is going on with your body and why it isn’t working the way you would like
it to. Why you can’t pick up an object off of a shelf or can’t bend over to tie your shoes. It is through
those observations and assessments as well as clinical experience that allow us to determine which
exercises or stretches are going to be the most beneficial for you and your condition. If you just had
surgery, we are prescribing exercises that we know will not damage any repair or reconstruction that
you just had done. We are working on increasing your motion, re-educating dysfunctional muscles,
addressing flexibility, and improving your biomechanics, to improve your function. Those home
exercises will often establish the framework for the program we will develop for you to perform during
your subsequent visits.
So while it may be easy to convince yourself to skip your exercises at home, performing them
consistently will help to decrease your pain, increase your strength/endurance/flexibility, and improve
your overall function so that you can resume your normal activities.