Sticking to a physical therapy schedule may be difficult as life can throw curveballs with last-minute changes to your schedule, but regularly attending your appointments and going through treatment is an important step in recovering from injuries and encouraging the healing process . Individuals who go through supervised physical therapy often do better than those who are unsupervised. No matter what age you are, life can always get in the way and may derail you from your goal of attending your physical therapy appointments. Take a look at a few of the best practices that will help you stick to your physical therapy routine so you can continue to focus on alleviating pain, improving function, and getting back to doing all the things you love through physical therapy.
Rather than trying to find free time in your schedule every day, create it. Choose a set time, whatever time of day is most convenient for you, and block it off on your calendar. Instead of trying to squeeze your physical therapy appointments into a small window of free time that you may or may not have, you are prioritizing your health and making the commitment to attend your physical therapy appointment at the same time. It's also important that the time you choose allows you to be uninterrupted or has a minimal chance of needing to be rescheduled due to a last-minute scheduling conflict.
It's easy to get distracted — one minute you're getting ready to head to your physical therapy appointment, and the next you're trying to finish up some work before heading home from the office. Once you block off your set time for your physical therapy appointments, make sure that you tell family, friends, or anyone else that could distract you or needs to know so that you can remain focused on attending your physical therapy appointments during your treatment timeline. Choosing a set time can also help you ensure that you can plan in advance and make arrangements for things that need to be rescheduled and give you an option to inform those who need to know what your physical therapy treatment timeline looks like.
If you've already been scheduled for a physical therapy appointment and you're struggling to consistently attend, don't hesitate to reach out to your physical therapist to let them know that you need to change the time moving forward. Your physical therapist and our support staff are more than willing to accommodate you and your busy schedule, as we want to help you get on the pathway to recovery by regularly attending your physical therapy appointments.
If you are on a busy schedule, make sure you set a calendar reminder in your devices to help you keep track. Block out time in your work, personal, and phone calendar to help you keep up with your upcoming physical therapy appointments. Setting up notifications either on your phone's reminder app, alarm, or through SMS are all ways you can get alerted to be reminded to attend your physical therapy appointment.
Setting goals for yourself is important when it comes to sticking to a routine. Looking to get back to running after an injury, have less pain doing daily activities, or even train to fulfill a lifelong dream? These are all purposes and goals of sticking to a PT routine which can work as motivation to why you are continuing this journey in the first place. Alongside setting these goals, make sure to track your progress. Often without looking back on where you came from, it is hard to tell that you are moving forward. This will motivate you to keep going and even gives incentives to do it better than you have before.
One of the best ways to stick to physical therapy on a busy schedule is to switch up your routine and wake up a bit earlier. Waking up a bit earlier can provide several benefits, one of which is giving you a little bit of extra time to hammer out those errands you need to do before heading into work or that frequently distract you and keep you from attending your appointment. Another potential benefit is to make a commitment to attending your physical therapy in the morning instead of lunch or during the afternoon.
If you think the factor that is most likely to derail you from sticking to your physical therapy routine is not having enough time in your day, try switching up your normal early morning schedule and wake up a bit earlier. Waking up earlier can help you create more time in your day to get more done and help you attend your physical therapy appointment. Waking up earlier may seem daunting, but rest assured, it's not as big of a commitment as it seems. You don't need to wake up an extra three hours earlier. Start with a half hour and decide if this is the right option for you. You may be surprised to find that you're a morning person and never knew it! Try your new early morning routine for a few days to see if the schedule works for you. You might be a tad bit tired the first couple of days as your body begins to get comfortable with the new sleep schedule, but it may be the thing you need to stick to your physical therapy appointments on a busy schedule.
If you're finding it difficult to attend your physical therapy appointments or find that you're consistently rescheduling appointments, one of the best things you can do is to communicate with your physical therapist. Your physical therapist will work with you to help you come up with a treatment plan that can match your busy schedule and give you some at-home exercises to keep you on track when life gets in the way between appointments. Your physical therapist is committed to helping you reach your goals, so don't hesitate to communicate with them and share any questions or concerns you might have regarding your schedule.
Our physical therapists create a personalized treatment plan for each patient and are 100% committed to helping them reach their health goals. Physical therapy is an effective treatment option for over 100 conditions and can help you alleviate pain, restore mobility, improve function, and get back to doing all the things you love most. Schedule a physical therapy appointment today and see how physical therapy can help you!