Is physical therapy homework important?

Physical Therapy and the Importance of Homework

Short answer: yes!

Here comes the long answer! When you go to physical therapy whether it’s for your muscles, after a broken bones, or something else, chances are you’re ending up there because of a problem. That problem can be pain, muscle weakness, stiffness, or something else. A physical therapist only sees you for a short time a few times a week, once a week, or once a month, so the exercises that a physical therapist may perform with you are limited. Often you are given physical therapy “homework”. Shirking this homework can, simply put, lead to longer recovery times or even an incomplete recovery.

Why complete your homework

Much like taking a prescribed medication, physical therapy homework is part of your recovery regimen. Your physical therapy homework is specially selected and decided for you and your unique needs. To get the most out of your physical therapy and to ensure your own recovery, you should complete your physical therapy homework as it is laid out to you by your physical therapist. If you are at all interested in getting as well as possible as fast as possible, you’ll want to perform your homework to the letter.

What if you can’t complete your homework?

We understand that if you are in a lot of pain, it can be a really good excuse not to complete physical therapy homework. However, if that pain is the reason you entered into physical therapy to begin with, completing your physical therapy homework can help you make progress to lessening or eliminating your pain – and may even help you at the same time. Each step you complete edges you closer to your end goal.

What happens if you don’t do your homework?

Unlike school homework, you don’t fail your class. Instead, you will likely be faced with more physical therapy than originally intended, meaning more time out of your schedule to visit the therapist, and potentially more money out of your pocket.

In some worst case scenarios, you can even stunt your own recovery. For example, if you enter into physical therapy after a broken joint but don’t adequately complete your homework, you may have a more limited range of motion as was initially believed.

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