When you have an injury or a chronic illness that makes staying mobile difficult, physical therapy is often prescribed. However, physical therapy (or PT) can get pricey, especially if you don’t have insurance. This is why so many people try to find ways to do physical therapy inexpensively, at home.
When trying to find inexpensive physical therapy there’s one question that inevitably comes up: Do I have to go to a treatment center or can I do physical therapy on my own at home? This question is tricky to answer because there are variables that should be considered. Here is everything you need to know if you want to do physical therapy on your own. (Disclaimer: Don’t consider this post the final word in physical therapy advice. Consult your doctor before making any decisions about physical therapy.)
The Major Caveat
The biggest caveat about doing physical therapy at home: it isn’t always possible to do. If you think that you’ll be able to simply look up your condition, find helpful literature or a how-to video, and create a physical therapy regimen that will get you back on track, you are sadly mistaken.
When You Should Not Try Physical Therapy At Home
There are certain scenarios in which doing physical therapy on your own is not only a bad idea but actually impossible. Here are the main scenarios in which home physical therapy should not be attempted.
If you are dealing with a recent injury, particularly if it is still causing grievous pain.
If your doctor deems it critical you do physical therapy at a physical therapy center.
If doing physical therapy on your own poses a danger to you.
If you are attempting to save money by doing your physical therapy from home, be advised that it is never worth going against the doctor’s orders just to save money. You may make your health worse and have to spend more money if you injure yourself because you tried to do your PT in a different way than your doctor’s recommendation.
What a Specialist Can Do To Help
You’ll have to see a physical therapist to determine the best course of action for your treatment. A physical therapist can give you an evaluation to determine what your therapeutic needs are. Once they have a full understanding of your therapeutic needs, they can start to develop your treatment plan.
Your treatment plan is a highly personal thing that is designed to cater not only to your injury or condition but your whole body. The plan that one patient is given will not be exactly the same as another patient with a similar condition. This is a big reason you can’t just turn to the Internet for help.
Prepare Your Space
If you’re serious about using your home for your physical therapy regimen, you need to make sure your home is able to accommodate your needs. You need a space in your home in which you can keep any equipment you’ll use during physical therapy. The space needs to be clear enough that you can do any and all exercises.
If you are sincere about doing your physical therapy regimen on your own, you must be diligent and consistent. If you don’t stick to your treatment plan you risk undoing all of your hard work. Not sticking to a physical therapy regimen is a big drawback of attempting to do it on your own. It’s easier to fall out of your routine if you have the convenience and comforts of home surrounding you. Stick to your plan. It’s the best way to ensure recovery.
Take Proper Precautions
Another concern about doing physical therapy at home instead of at a treatment facility? Safety. There are numerous things that could go wrong when doing PT at home that may not have crossed your mind. Here are some things you need to keep in mind in order to do your physical therapy in a safe manner.
Don’t Push Yourself Too Much
The core idea of physical therapy is to push yourself and build your endurance so that you can return to or maintain a life of normal physical activity. Some people make the mistake of thinking that they need to push themselves to extremes in order to achieve desired results faster. This is a big mistake.
You may think that pushing yourself to your limit will make it easier for you to resume normal living, but you can actually set yourself back. Pushing yourself too hard, be it with stretches, exercises, or even how long you make each session last will only serve to tire you out and put further strain on your soft body tissue. This means that you will spend more time trying to recover from your physical therapy before starting your next session.
Inexpensive Physical Therapy Exercises You Can Do From Home
If you are going to do physical therapy from home then it helps to know what kind of exercises you can do from home. These are exercises that do not require the extensive equipment that you may find in a treatment center.
Bow and Arrow Stretch
Planks with a raised leg
Master of Your Own Care
Remember that taking on physical therapy on your own is a big responsibility. There will be times when you may not feel it is worth it. There will be times that your health may not seem like good enough motivation to stick with it. In those times you need to think of your loved ones and those who may need you. If you can stick to your PT regimen then you can get your life back to normal.