5 tips to help you stick to physio
Sticking to your physio exercise plan can feel tough at times. If you are already short on time due to work, family, and social commitments, it can be hard to find the time and motivation to complete your physio exercises on a regular basis. But you’re not alone. In fact, as many as 65% of physiotherapy patients struggle to commit to the exercises they are prescribed.
However, patients who progress the fastest tend to be those who commit to completing their at-home exercises with regularity. With only a short period of time spent with your physio each week, fortnight, or month (depending on where you are in your journey), the time spent outside of the clinic is just as important. That’s why we asked Bodyset’s Head of Physiotherapy, Julia Petersbelk to share her top tips on how to commit to physio exercises for a faster recovery…
1. Set measurable goals
Identifying a meaningful, long-term purpose can be a powerful means of keeping you motivated throughout your physio plan – whether that’s running around with your kids, returning to sports with your friends or simply enjoying a summer walk without pain. Keeping a goal in mind throughout can help you to focus on the bigger picture and visualise an end goal. Smaller short-term goals are also a useful way to break the journey down into more manageable time periods. It’s also a fantastic way to reflect on your progress and recognise how far you’ve already come. The more small goals you achieve, the more motivated you will become as you celebrate your achievements.
2. Ask questions
Understanding your condition or injury is an essential part of recovery. Why? If you don’t understand what’s happening to your own body, it can be harder to follow advice. The more you understand why you are doing each exercise and how they are helping you, the more likely you are to commit to them. This can also help you feel more in control. At Bodyset, we talk you through your diagnosis in detail to ensure that you understand exactly what is happening to your body. We also encourage you to ask as many questions as possible. No question is a stupid question!
3. Be honest
Do you ever feel like you’re turning up to school without your homework? If you’re struggling to do the prescribed exercises, don’t feel guilty; just let your physiotherapist know. They understand it’s hard to adjust to fitting something new into your daily routine, and they will never judge you. Instead, they will help you identify barriers and suggest new ways to help you move forwards more effectively.
4. Get tech involved
Smartphones and fit tech can be really useful for planning your physio exercise list into your diary, reviewing exercise performance and progress, setting reminders and much more. At Bodyset, we’ll never send you off with a list of exercises that you’ll forget by the time you get home. Instead, we work with TeleHab – an at-home exercise prescription platform from VALD Health. The easy-to-use app means you’re never alone – it walks you through your physio exercise with video demonstrations. It enables you to journal your exercises and flag any difficulty or pain you might experience during the programme.
Once flagged, the app alerts your Bodyset physiotherapist, who will adjust your exercise programme remotely. Working with the Telehab app means that your Bodyset physiotherapist is there to help you throughout your entire recovery journey – not just at the check-in clinic appointments. Plus, it visualises your progression, which is so rewarding to see after truly committing to your recovery!
5. Personalise your plan
Little and often. You don’t always have to do your physio exercises all in one go, so find ways to incorporate your exercises throughout the day. Ask your physiotherapist which of your exercises can be modified so that you can do them while on the go. This could mean doing heel raises while brushing your teeth or lunging your way around the kitchen…
It can also help to rename your exercise sessions to reflect your end goal or simply make your programme feel a bit more fun.
“A hip injury meant that I had to lay off my favourite sports for a while, and I was pretty upset about it, to begin with. That changed when Bodyset’s James renamed my physiotherapy routines ‘Climbing’ and ‘Yoga’ in the online Telehab portal. It was such a small thing, but it turned something that felt like a bit of a chore into something so rewarding. I felt so much more motivated after that!” Laura, Patient at Bodyset Streatley Clinic.