May 31, 2022
As I was doing some research for this post I noticed something noteworthy about this date. On this day in 1859 the Great Clock housing Big Ben starts keeping time. Now, some of you may think that this is an odd thing to find in a blog on a physical therapy website. However, as I was reflecting on my day I was reminded of how many conversations I had with patients today involving time. How long do I need to do this exercise for? How long do I need to follow my home exercise program? How long will I be in therapy? These are all great questions and ones that come up nearly every day.
First, how long do I need to do this exercise for? It is important to work with your therapist to understand why you are doing an exercise and how that affects how you are doing it. Sometimes we do exercises for time (holding a stretch for 30 seconds), or for reps (3 sets of 10), or for endurance, balance, stability, etc.
Second it is important to understand that therapy works best when it is done daily. If you want to be done with therapy as soon as possible it is imperative that you participate at home. This could be with a home exercise program or modifying your activities at home or following an icing regimen. If you follow your therapist’s instructions you are more likely to decrease your time in therapy.
Finally, how long will I be in therapy. This was somewhat addressed above, but you should have a good idea after your first visit how long your therapy plan of care could be. You should work with your therapist to address and assess this plan of care regularly. You more you understand what therapy is and the more you buy into the plan the shorter your time with therapy will be!