If you’ve ever visited a physio then odds are you’ll have been given a set of exercises to do at home to help you recover. Much in the same way that you’ll be told to keep taking a course of antibiotics long after the symptoms have vanished, these exercises are incredibly important in helping get over the cause of the problem as well as the resulting discomfort.
As you can imagine, these plans aren’t always adhered to…
The graph below demonstrates a common scenario we experience in the clinic.
We don’t experience pain every time there’s a minor problem – otherwise we’d spend our lives in a lot of discomfort. Our bodies are very resilient but only to a certain point; when we go above that we start to feel pain which is our body’s way of telling us it’s about time to do something about that problem.
When you decide to do something about it (like seeing an excellent Physio) treatment begins and the pain starts to subside.When it’s gone, you get discharged and sent on your way with some exercises to carry out at home or the gym.
However, the problem starts when the pain has gone away. With work, family and social life pressures, it’s easy to give up on the exercises especially when there’s no discomfort.
Soon after it’s not uncommon for the discomfort to return and, while we love seeing people coming to visit us in clinic, we’d much rather it wasn’t for the same problem.
A good physio will always treat not just the problem itself but the underlying cause as well, and that is our approach here – as a result the exercises we give you will help get rid of the pain and also include what we call ‘functional exercises.’ These train you in good movement patterns as well as strength, in order to really get to the root of the problem and help you recover fully. By this stage, these are exercises that everyone should be doing whether they have had pain or not – not thought of as “I’m just doing them to manage my pain and stop it coming back.”
The part of the recovery process that is often poorly understood is that, just as the problem can take months or even years to build up, so can the full recovery. So while we can help get rid of the pain and get you back to running or working at a desk quite quickly, keeping things that way can take a lot longer. If you’ve been discharged then that means either the pain has gone or that we’re happy with how your recovery is progressing and that continuing the exercises will lead to a full recovery with time. After that it’s up to you to keep them going.
Of course we’re here every step of the way in your recovery, at any stage if you’ve ever got any doubts or questions we’d always recommend speaking to your physio. It’s worth doing properly after all, so that your recovery doesn’t look like the graph above but instead looks much more like this one.