A crucial aspect of physical therapy is making sure you keep up with your prescribed exercises. It’s easy to do so if you’re driving to an in-person clinic and visiting with your physical therapist, but what if you’re adopting virtual physical therapy? Perhaps you’ve chosen virtual PT because of the convenience or worries around COVID-19.
Regardless of the reason, you may find it difficult to show up to the first virtual appointment and to keep doing your prescribed exercises when your physical therapist is not directing you. But sticking to home-based exercises, and making a habit out of them, can make all the difference in your recovery and treating injuries.
Make a Habit of Virtual Physical Therapy
We all know it’s tough to stick to a new commitment, but you’ve made a great first step in scheduling an appointment with a physical therapist. The next step is showing up! Let’s take a look at a few tips at how to stick with your new virtual physical therapy appointments and routines.
1. Ask About Specifics
A lot of people find they’re more committed to a new routine if they understand the benefits of it, or can at least picture them. For PT, most people understand that their appointments are supposed to make them “better” in some form, but asking specific questions to your clinician can help you understand what “better” means for you.
Your new exercises may mean you can regain your movement on the basketball court, or help increase range of motion so you can return to jogging without pain, or help prevent scar tissue from enveloping nerves after a surgery. By asking about how your exercises will help you, you’ll likely be better motivated to stick with your PT routine.
2. Set an Alarm
Set an alarm a half hour before your scheduled appointment. The alarm will be a helpful reminder about your virtual PT visit and making sure you’ve cleared time in your day. If you have prescribed exercises you’re supposed to do without the aid of a virtual PT, set the alarm anyway to ensure you follow through with your exercises.
3. Clear Time in the Morning
If you’ve been prescribed daily exercises by your Agile Virtual PT PT, set some time aside in the morning to complete them. Set an alarm 20 minutes before you’d normally get out of bed and knock out your exercises to start your day. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment first thing in the morning
4. Keep a Journal
Many patients find it helpful to write down their physical therapy experience during the course of their care. A written journal is a great way to track your progress, monitor your pain, and helps you stay motivated. Plus, you’ll be more likely to complete your course of care if you hold yourself accountable by writing down whether or not you went to your appointment or completed your prescribed routines.
If you’re ready to make physical therapy part of your routine, schedule an appointment with Agile Virtual PT. One of our licensed clinicians will develop a tailored plan just for you, and you can join every visit from the comfort of home.