OK, you’ve gotten home with your exercise sheet that you’re confident will get you back on track and you start hammering out the reps… only after a week or more of practice nothing seems to have changed. Is it time to consign them to the bin?
Unfortunately this is an all too common scenario - in fact, one I see every day in clinic! I want to share with you the top three things I find that prevent patients from getting better with home exercise plans. I guarantee you’ll notice the change.
The exercises are done too infrequently
This one is unfortunately down to human nature. The fact is, it’s hard to change - and we need a lot of momentum to get that change going. Often the very things we are trying to change with the prescribed exercises are results of long term adaptations by your body to how you’ve been using it. The bottom line is- if it’s taken years to get this way, it’s going to need some serious effort to get that ball rolling back the way it came.
So - how often? Apart from certain types of exercise which need recovery time, or certain scenarios such as recovering from fresh injuries/surgery, I recommend at least twice per day in the first few weeks. This is especially important with issues related to posture or working conditions - these are hard nuts to crack and generally the more we can get you moving the better!
‘Faking the Funk’
In other words, you’re doing what appears to be the right movement but missing out key points of the setup or focus points in the movement. The net result: you’re wasting your time and getting frustrated.
This one is usually down to we clinicians unfortunately. Every patient should leave with a clear idea of what each movement is designed to do and what the key points for setup are. I find that the more I explain what is going wrong and why these are the movements we are going to do to fix the problem, patients understand how the exercise is meant to feel and can better replicate it at home. Believe me this one is make or break for the success of a home exercise plan.
You need your plan modified
This is one area that being stoical doesn’t win you any medals. So many patients are reluctant to come back to their practitioner and confess that things aren’t working. I think often patients treat plans as if they are laid down in law, however with movement coaching this is rarely the case. There are always certain goals we are targeting with rehab exercises, but there are many, many ways of achieving these. This is why I always ensure each patient can accurately replicate the exercises before leaving the clinic and that I encourage ongoing dialogue… if things aren’t working, let’s find some things that do click with you and still achieve our goals. This isn’t failure on either part, but is simply part of finding the right bespoke management.
Still unsure of if any of these apply to you? Get in touch today, I love getting people better!