What Is Exercise Therapy?
March 30, 2021
Home exercise therapy is a phrase that we use often on this website, but it might not be a phrase that many people are familiar with, even those who are currently undergoing treatment for knee pain. While most people are familiar with physiotherapy and have at least a working knowledge of what that means, home exercise therapy is a little bit less well understood. Because it can be so important to the recovery process (and is a major part of what SimpleTherapy is all about), we thought we would demystify this type of therapy to get you more comfortable with the term and to understand your course of treatment a little bit better.
Defining Home Exercise Therapy
Home exercise therapy is a series of regular exercises that people suffering from joint issues, such as knee pain, can perform themselves in the comfort of their own home. The exercises involve stretches and strengthening movements that are performed regularly in the comfort of their own home. The exercises generally progress in difficulty and are guided by the patient, so if, for example, you have trouble with a specific movement or find it painful the treatment progresses more gradually, whereas if you find the exercises easy then you can progress to more challenging exercises more quickly. By improving the strength of the muscles and tendons around the joint and improving flexibility, the joint not only heal more quickly but the chances of injuring the joint again are greatly decreased.
Home Exercise Therapy is Different From Physiotherapy
While home exercise therapy and physiotherapy are closely related and often dovetail closely with each other, they are not the same thing and should not be equated. Physiotherapy, also called physical therapy, can treat a whole host of different ailments and injuries, including those of the musculoskeletal system, which are treated by orthopedic physiotherapists. Physiotherapy must be related to an injury or illness that is first diagnosed by a doctor and involves a whole host of treatments, including manipulation of the joint, electrical muscle stimulation, and dry needling. All of these treatments are administered by a doctor in a medical setting. Therapeutic exercise is also a part of physiotherapy.
How Physiotherapy and Home Exercise Therapy Work Together
Where physiotherapy and home exercise therapy overlap is when it comes to therapeutic exercise. In addition to the intensive in-office visits, doctors will often recommend that patients do additional exercises at home. These exercises work in conjunction with the in-office visits, but don’t need to be administered or supervised by a doctor. These exercises all on their own can have great benefits and aid in the ongoing healing process immensely. And that’s where home exercise therapy comes in!
The Challenges of Home Exercise Therapy
Of course, home exercise therapy comes with its own unique challenges. Because patients are asked to do the exercises at home themselves, it is up to each individual to remember to do them and stick to the program. The exercises can sometimes be painful or dull, which can be discouraging. And like any repetitive task, sometimes people avoid doing their exercises. However, people who do stick to their home exercise plans tend to have much quicker recovery times and a better prognosis in the long run. So if you are asked to perform a course of home exercise therapy by your physiotherapist, or sign up for an independent course of treatment with a product like SimpleTherapy, be sure to do your exercises as often as recommended to heal, stay healthy, and Progress Yourself.
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