Tips For Preparing For An At-Home Physical Therapy Session

Physical therapy is the key to recovering fully after a surgery or injury. Exercising properly can help ensure that you heal fully and correctly, or it can help you relearn how to use a muscle after it heals. Sometimes, a therapist may actually come to your home to help you with your therapy, so you want to make sure you get the most from these visits. The following tips can help.

Tip #1: Clean Up

Home visits are usually so the therapist can provide daily exercises and well as daily living strategies that are used to avoid further damage as you heal. You will at minimum want to make sure that you have a larger area, such as in the living room, to perform any specific exercises. If you are also going to be shown daily living strategies, such as how to maneuver steps, make sure these areas are clean and easily accessible. It may be worth it to have someone come in and help you clean before the therapy appointment, whether it's a friend or a paid service.

Tip #2: Plan Ahead

Talk with your therapist ahead of time to find out any specific equipment that you may need. Exercise bands, for example, are a common tool used by therapists for improving muscle strength and control. While your therapist will bring a set of bands to use during the therapy session, you will also need to have your own set to use after they have gone. By purchasing your equipment before the visit, the therapist can make sure you have it set up correctly and can show you the proper way to do the exercises on the equipment you will be using daily.

Tip #3: Ask About Therapy Wear

It's important that you are dressed appropriately when the therapist arrives. They have a tight schedule when making house calls, so they do not have time to wait for you to change into more appropriate gear. Generally, loose fitting athletic clothing is sufficient, but you may need to wear a tank top for certain neck or shoulder exercises. In some cases, athletic shoes may also be necessary. Ask ahead of time what kind of clothing you should be wearing for the session so you are ready to get to work as soon as the therapist arrives.

Tip #4: Fill Out Paperwork Ahead of Time

Many physical therapists now have all their waiver and health documents available online. This means that you can fill them out ahead of time and have them sent to the office. This will save time during your appointment so that you can make the most of the time you have to practice the exercises with the therapist. Ask your therapist if they have this option available.