Reasons to do rehab…1.2.3!
You’ve had this nagging pain in your back/neck/shoulders/knees (delete as appropriate), it’s been going on for maybe days/weeks/months or even years and you’ve had enough. You decide to take control and do something about it. So you make an excellent decision and book in for a massage. Awesome!
You go for treatment and probably at least on some level you’re hoping you’re going to walk out of the clinic and all the pain/tension will have vanished, never to return…………. so long, sayonara!
Now I’m not saying this can’t happen, depending on your condition and how long you’ve had it you may very well be one of the lucky ones who just needs an hours session. For the majority of people however, a treatment plan is going to be required, sadly you can’t undo weeks/months/years of pain and tension in an hour.
You go for your treatment, you have a full consultation where your therapist asks questions about your medical history, lifestyle and pain condition. They assess your range of motion and discuss the outcome you would like to achieve. You have a kick ass treatment and feel loads better than when you walked in. In your head you’re just going to book your next session and get on with your day, then your massage therapist tells you they want you to do homework!!!
“What!!! I didn’t sign up for this. I came here to get fixed!”
Now bear with me. There is method to this madness.
Let’s do the maths……..
There are 168 hours in a week, so if you go for an hours treatment once a week that’s 167 hours a week that you’re NOT getting treatment. Even if you take off a generous 56 hours for sleeping (seriously, who gets 8 hours a night!) that’s still 109 hours of life and all it’s stresses and strains vs 1 little hour set aside to ‘fix’ a problem that not only has been brewing for years but is probably exacerbated by said life.
Getting treatment once a month? That’s 447 hours that you’re NOT getting treatment (again taking off a generous 224 hours for sleep).
Once a year? That’s a whopping 5839 hours, minus sleep, where you’re NOT getting treatment.
When laid out like that hopefully it makes a bit more sense to do your at home rehab!
However, a 2011 study said that up to half of patients don’t follow recommended drug regimens given to them by their doctors and a similar number don’t follow the recommended rehab plan given to them by their physiotherapists. The reasons for non compliance are varied and generally completely rational, most of the reasons given were to do with time. Basically not having enough of it!
I get that. We’re all busy people. There’s work, relationships, children, leisure activities and a whole host of other things all vying for our time and time is nothing if not precious.
But so is your health and your quality of life.
If your body is tight, tense and in pain you’re probably not enjoying life to the fullest. Stretching and strengthening your muscles, taking joints through their full range of motion are all things you can do at home to speed up your bodies healing process.
Like most things in life it’s all about choices.
Make the choice to fit your rehab into your life.
Waiting for the kettle to boil? Why not do some stretches?
Watching TV? Why not multitask and do your exercises at the same time?
Feel stiff in the morning? Get up 10 minutes earlier and take the time to mobilise your body.
Move wherever and whenever you can.
Don’t make your rehab a chore, fit it in to your life in whatever way works for you.
Treatment is a great first step, but if you want to get the most out of it you need to do your homework!
Image © Jing Advanced Massage Training
Jemma Fordham is a clinical massage therapist who specialises in the treatment of chronic pain conditions based in Brighton. She works with her clients to help facilitate their bodies own healing through bodywork, exercise and education.
If you would like more information or need to book an appointment please call 07843 666 806 or use this form.