Why Start a Wellness Program?
January 17, 2023
There are over 35,000 physical therapy clinics in the United States alone! That is an amazing number of patients coming through looking for help with their pain. In many cases, physical therapists can assist in relieving your pain and symptoms for good. In other cases, it may take further intervention such as injection or surgery. While you may not immediately feel the effects of therapy treatment, it can be very beneficial when the plan of care is followed all the way through. Therapists have the ability to teach you how to stretch, strengthen, stabilize, and even improve your cardiovascular endurance. Continuing with all of these tools, even after you’ve been discharged from therapy, will allow you to keep down a healthy, pain-free path.
We occasionally see returning patients that have a sudden onset of symptoms similar to, if not identical to, the original symptoms they went to therapy for. There have been many occasions in which the returning patient admits to not complying with the home program the therapist discharged them with. Life tends to get in the way and schedules get busy, lessening the time we have to focus on the exercises that keep us feeling healthy and strong. With a decreased focus on our health, pain tends to slowly creep back into our lives. Wellness programs can be made for just this reason.
A wellness program is similar to a home program you may receive from your physical therapist. But instead of a handful of exercises tailored to your specific pain, it can encompass all areas of health, as mentioned above. We can create a progressive program that gradually increases in intensity as you stick with it and get stronger. It can be created to fit into your personal schedule, so you won’t feel time is keeping you from staying healthy. With an all-compassing, tailored, easy-to-follow program, we will be able to help you maintain a pain-free, healthy lifestyle and decrease your odds of receiving a more invasive procedure or returning to square one with physical therapy treatment.
After discharge, it can be common for a patient to forget how to successfully complete all of their home exercises. They may feel lost on what to do once an exercise begins to feel easy. Wellness programs can take the guess work out of your routine. Exercises, number of repetitions, level of resistance, and frequency per week can all be set out in the wellness program for you. With the therapists’ knowledge, they will be able to talk you through how to progress with each of these.
Physical therapy clinics may have different policies on providing wellness programs. Some may require a visit every couple months to keep up-to-date with your changes in health and progress your program. Others may only need to see you once a year, similar to an annual check up with your doctor. In either case, it is less hands-on than a therapy regimen in which the patient comes into the clinic 2 to 3 times per week. However, it is more engaging than a discharge in which the patient is left on their own with solely the home program.
If a full wellness program doesn’t suit you, but you feel you may need some guidance from your therapist, you can schedule a clinic session each year. You can discuss all you’ve done since your last visit, how you feel your improving, and areas you feel you are regressing or still need work in. Rather than a full program, the therapist can teach you the few exercises you would benefit from most.
No matter what stage you feel you are at in the rehab process, your therapist can always be by your side to keep you headed in the right direction. To get set up with physical therapy, a home program, or a wellness program, contact your primary doctor or local physical therapist. Find out what your options are and what path is best for you.