I have been to physical (and occupational) therapy many, many times over the years. I have learned a lot from my sessions, and have kept the handouts they have given me. I have a notebook full of back exercises and such.

The key to PT working for you is to keep up the stretches and exercises that the therapist has assigned to you. If you can rig up a way to do something as you use the equipment in the sessions, add those in. I do my given routine every day and have made much progress in each session - usually shortening the amount of prescribed sessions, and healing faster.

For my knee (which was hyperextended and damaged), I rigged up a step exercise in the garage where the step is only ½ as high as a regular step. This allowed me to practice the exercise that I did in PT on the exercise step. I also was on a balance board in PT - I had rigged up such some years prior, for my daughter. I had a 3' 2X4 board, and a small block of wood. Laying the 2X4 on the block, I was able to do the same balancing and strengthening exercise as I did in PT.

For my back, I bought a $15 exercise ball and am doing the strengthening exercises at home. There are other stretches I do with what I've bought or rigged up.

Be sure to discuss any home care with your therapist. He/she may not want you to do certain ones at home, or may feel it is dangerous or detrimental to do unsupervised.

When doing stretches, make sure to do them slowly and purposefully, not a jerk and quick repetition. Keep it under control, and slowly stretch, slowly do the repetitions.

In summary, I continue to do my routines at home, according to what a therapist tells me (many people just do the routines at therapy without continuing between sessions, so progress is much slower). I get direction on ways I can mimic and rig up my own way of doing certain exercises at home. I work at getting better and healing.

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