How to do physiotherapy at home

Physiotherapy is a branch of medicine that deals with the assessment and treatment of physical problems that may be caused by injury, illness or disability.

It can help to relieve pain, improve movement and function, and prevent or delay further physical problems.

Most people associate treatment with assessment and rehabilitation in the clinic, but what they don’t know is that physiotherapy at home is also a popular option with patients.

It can be a great way to manage your condition, speed up your recovery and avoid further injury.

Unfortunately, it isn’t always clear how to get started with this approach. So, here are a few tips on how to do physiotherapy at home:

How to do physiotherapy at home

General tips

1. Follow your physiotherapist’s instructions.

Your physiotherapist will develop a treatment plan specifically for you, based on your individual needs. It is important that you follow their instructions and advice in order to get the most out of your treatment.

2. Do your exercises regularly.

It is important to do your physiotherapy exercises on a regular basis in order to see the best results. Try to set aside some time each day to do your exercises, and make sure that you are doing them correctly.

3. Use the correct equipment.

If your physiotherapist has prescribed any equipment for you to use, make sure that you are using it correctly. This could include things like resistance bands, weights or exercise balls.

4. Stay motivated.

It can be easy to get discouraged when you are doing physiotherapy at home, especially if you are not seeing results immediately. It is important to stay motivated and keep up with your exercises. Remember that even small improvements can make a big difference in your overall condition.

5. Seek help if you need it.

If you are having trouble doing your physiotherapy exercises at home, or if you are not seeing the results you want, don’t hesitate to reach out to your physiotherapist for help. They can offer additional support and guidance to help you reach your goals.

For shoulder

1. Use a pillow for support.

If you are experiencing pain in your shoulder, you can use a pillow to help support it. Try placing a pillow under your arm while you sleep, for example.

2. Avoid reaching overhead.

When you are doing activities that involve reaching overhead, be careful not to put too much strain on your shoulder. Try to keep your arm close to your body, and use a lower weight if you are lifting something.

3. Do range of motion exercises.

Range of motion exercises can help to improve your shoulder movement. Try doing some simple exercises like arm circles or shoulder shrugs. You could also try lying on your back and using the good hand to lift the bad arm above your head, as far as pain allows.

4. Strengthening.

There are instances where strengthening is essential, especially when working on the small muscles in your shoulder. Often a theraband (stretchy elastic) is used to grade the level of resistance for your particular stage of rehabilitation.

For hand

1. Do range of motion exercises.

Range of motion exercises can help to improve the flexibility and movement in your hand. Try doing things like making a fist and then stretching out your fingers, or tracing letters in the air.

2. Do exercises to strengthen your hand muscles.

There are a number of exercises that you can do to help strengthen the muscles in your hand. Try things like squeezing a tennis ball or using putty to exercise your grip.

3. Use ice.

If you are experiencing pain or inflammation in your hand, you can use ice to help reduce it. Try placing an ice pack on your hand (frozen peas wrapped in a wet towel) for 10-20 minutes at a time.

4. Avoid activities that irritate your symptoms.

There are some activities that can put strain on your hand and worsen symptoms. Try to avoid things like using power tools or opening jars if you are experiencing pain.

For back pain

1. Use heat.

If you are experiencing muscle tension in your back, you can use heat to help relax the muscles. Try placing a heating pad (hot water bottle in a towel) on your back for 10-20 minutes at a time.

2. Do range of motion exercises.

Range of motion exercises can help to improve flexibility and movement in your back. Try doing things like lying on your back and bending your knees so the soles of your feet are flat on the bed. Then roll your knees from side to side. You can also try exercises like that cat and cow, which is gentle to start with, especially if you have acute back pain.

3. Avoid activities that put strain on your back.

There are some activities that can put strain on your back and worsen symptoms. Try to avoid things like lifting heavy objects or bending over from the waist. If you must do these activities, be sure to use proper form to avoid injury.

For legs

1. Avoid aggravating activities

If you get repeated ankle pain when playing sport, it’s advisable to rest from this activity and perform the necessary rehabilitation. Similarly, if you suffer from chronic knee pain when walking long distances, try to exercise little and often instead.

2. Do exercises

Ankle pumps are a simple exercise that can help to improve circulation in your legs. To do this exercise, simply sit in a chair and pump your ankles up and down. Heel slides are another easy exercise that can help to stretch your calf muscles and improve leg range of motion, especially if you have knee pain. To do this exercise, lie on your back. Slowly slide your heel towards your body, then back to the starting position. Often strengthening exercises will be vital for leg issues and can be advised accordingly by your physiotherapist.

4. Use an ice pack.

If you are experiencing pain in your knee, for example, you might also experience swelling. Applying an ice pack can help to reduce these symptoms. Try placing an ice pack (frozen peas wrapped in a wet towel) on your knee for 10-20 minutes at a time.

Summary

Physiotherapy at home is essential for a speedy recovery, but it does still require the intervention of a qualified professional to ensure that you’re avoiding harmful activities and instead performing helpful exercises to remedy the issue.

This approach is also an essential adjunct to any clinic-based sessions. By following the tips above, you can ensure that you get the most out of your treatment.

See our physiotherapy services here.

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