If you’ve been to the physio before, chances are you’ve walked away with some exercises to tackle as your ‘homework.’ These at-home exercises play a vital role in a successful recovery plan and while they might take up some of your time, they are essential to help you get better. Like any effective exercise program, exercises need to be progressed and updated to remain effective. When an exercise becomes too easy, it indicates that your body has adapted to it, and you’ve hit a plateau where the activity is no longer making you stronger. Heading back to the physio ensures that your exercises stay challenging and therefore effective in steering you toward your goal.
A few ways an exercise can be progressed include:
- Increasing the number of repetitions
- Increasing weight
- Changing the range of motion or position of an exercise
- Changing the tempo of an exercise
Updating your exercises is also crucial because the therapeutic objectives of your program may shift. The initial set of exercises you get from the physio may not be sufficient to propel you towards your ultimate goal. Let’s use rehabilitation following a total knee replacement as an example. Initially, the focus is on regaining knee motion and gentle muscle activation. These basics involve simple tasks like placing your foot on a chair to straighten your leg or pulling your heel toward your bottom to aid with knee bending. Once these foundational goals are met, you progress to more strength-based and functional exercises. This is a simplified explanation of post-op knee rehab, however it highlights why exercise progression is so crucial and that each step is important. If the exercises were not progressed beyond the initial set of exercises, it is unlikely the patient’s functional goals would be achieved. These principles apply for all conditions, from post-operative rehab, to neck and low back pain, and ankle sprains.
If you’re dealing with an injury or need guidance on your current exercise routine, reach out to us. Our Physio’s are here, at Bend + Mend, to help you navigate towards your goals.