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Skilled Nursing Facility | Your PT Homework

skilled nursing facilityPhysical therapists are an integral piece of the recovery puzzle following a muscle or joint injury and can often assist in maintaining independence in older adults. However, the time you spend with a physical therapist is only a small portion of your overall treatment; the rest must be done independently at home or in a skilled nursing facility.

What is PT Homework?

During a physical therapy appointment, the physical therapist will assess your progress, ask questions about pain and limitations, and perform therapeutic measures, which vary from case to case. Finally, the physical therapist will demonstrate exercises for you to complete at home, often several times per day with several reps each time. In many cases, the physical therapist will ask you to demonstrate the exercises so he or she can evaluate and correct your technique if necessary. These daily exercises are your PT homework.

Why Home Exercises Matter

According to U.S. News and World Report, following your home exercise orders is “crucial for recovery.” Because you can only meet with your physical therapist a few times per week at most, any progress made during these appointments is lost without maintenance exercises in between appointments. As a matter of fact, the work you do at home often comprises the majority of your total treatment, not your one-on-one time with the therapist. Patients who are completely committed to their physical therapy goals and fully compliant with their treatment plan are most likely to experience a full recovery and maintain independence and quality of life well into their senior years.

Simple Steps to Getting Your Homework Done

These simple steps can help you get the most out of your physical therapy treatment and realize the best possible outcome:

  1. Establish goals. When you can connect with your goals (“to walk my granddaughter down the aisle” or “to compete in a 5k in September”), you are more likely to achieve them.
  2. Find the right physical therapist. Choose a therapist who understands your struggles and wants to see you succeed.
  3. Set a schedule. Add your “homework” to your calendar to improve your odds of getting it done.

To learn more about Arizona physical therapy programs, both in and out of a skilled nursing facility, visit Santé today!

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