The Importance of Transitioning from Discharge of PT to a Home Exercise Program
December 27, 2022
So, you have been discharged from Physical Therapy and feel like yourself again and can complete the activities you want without an increase in discomfort, so what is next? The goal of PT is to return our patients back to their prior level of function before the onset of their symptoms. As you go through PT, we tailor exercises to fit you and your goals. The patient often becomes familiar and comfortable with these exercises and when the time comes for our patients to discharge from therapy, we give them a home exercise program to continue outside of therapy. These exercises are meant to maintain or exceed where they currently are by further challenging their strength and endurance to improve their gains outside of physical therapy.
When this moment comes, we often see patients discontinue their exercises because they are feeling better and are without pain. Too often when this occurs, the patient’s symptoms can slowly begin to return because they discontinued what was helping them maintain their pain-free way of life. It is important to maintain this muscular strength via a HEP so this setback does not occur, and our patients can maintain their upward trajectory.
A HEP often contains anywhere from 5-10 exercises that the patient enjoys, is comfortable with, and will complete. The most important exercise to give patients is the one they will complete outside of therapy. These exercises are completed 3-5x a week and take anywhere from 5-20 minutes to complete. If one thinks of all the time in a week, Physical Therapy is not asking for much time to complete these exercises so the patient can maintain or improve their current pain-free way of life.
Alex Trautman, PT, DPT, EP-C, has a special interest in transitioning patients from their physical therapy program to a wellness program. His undergraduate degree in exercise physiology gives him extra training and knowledge in this transition. He would love to chat with you about how you can continue to improve your wellness after physical therapy.