Why following your injury rehab program is so important

FACT adherence to your rehab is an important prerequisite for successful recovery.
Clinical guidelines advocate the use of exercise programmes for musculoskeletal (MSK) concerns. Exercise can include interventions such as general (aerobic) exercise, specific body-region exercises for strengthening and flexibility, continuing normal physical activities, and increasing general physical activity levels.
Systematic reviews consistently show the beneficial effects of different types of exercise on key outcomes such as pain, physical function, and quality of life.
Adherence, defined as โ€œ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘’๐‘ฅ๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ก ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘คโ„Ž๐‘–๐‘โ„Ž ๐‘Ž ๐‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘ ๐‘œ๐‘›โ€™๐‘  ๐‘๐‘’โ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘ฃ๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘Ÿ ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘ ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘  ๐‘ค๐‘–๐‘กโ„Ž ๐‘Ž๐‘”๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘๐‘œ๐‘š๐‘š๐‘’๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘  ๐‘“๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ๐‘š ๐‘Ž โ„Ž๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ๐‘ฃ๐‘–๐‘‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿโ€, is considered to be important for the success of exercise programmes for MSK concerns. Adherence enhances effectiveness, and patients who undertake regular physical activity are less likely to progress to recurrent, persistent, or disabling problems.
Despite its importance, adherence to clinic-based exercise rehab is often around 50%. It’s usually worse for unsupervised home exercise programmes. ๐๐จ๐ง-๐š๐๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ž๐ซ๐œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž ๐ซ๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ง๐ž๐ ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐š๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐œ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐ž๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ, ๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐๐ฎ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง, efficiency of use of equipment, the therapeutic relationship, waiting times, and cost of care.
The other aspect of consistency with rehab is keeping it up over a prolonged period. It takes time for tissues to adapt and muscles to strengthen. It takes 6-8 weeks of consistent exercise to build strength in your muscles, and even longer to get changes in your soft tissues and tendons. If you were to only stick at your rehab program for a few weeks and then find better things to do you would not have given your body a chance to adapt and benefit from the exercises you were doing.
Playing sports and even carrying out new or complex tasks in daily life requires skill. It is widely accepted that skills need to be developed and practised over time. Strength is also a skill, if you want to attain a high level of it, you need to do consistent practice, just like with anything else. We all go through phases where life seems to get in the way โ€“ but always remember โ€œSomething is always better than nothingโ€.
A correlation was found between relatively modest increases in home rehabilitation participation and clinically meaningful improvements in pain and disability outcomes.
Adherence to prescribed physical therapy exercise is considered to be essential for successful rehabilitation of both conservatively and operatively managed patients. However, self-reported adherence to physical therapy is often poor (50%-70%), particularly in the home setting and in worker populations.
Following the home component of exercise programs is important, as this activity calls for the greatest level of independent patient engagement in the rehabilitation process and typically represents most of the opportunity for injury recovery exercise.

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