If you have had any sort of health care, you probably have been given home care at the end of your treatment. Dentists will want you to floss, and we at Choice Health Centre will often suggest stretches, strengthening exercises, mobility exercises or even foam rolling, ice or heat. Unfortunately, as health care providers when we ask a patient, “Have you been doing your home care?” the answer is too often “…“I was too busy”, “It was sore and hard to do so I didn’t do it” or the plain old “I forgot.”
Why Do We Prescribe Home Care & Why Is It Important?
The person who spends the most amount of time with you is YOU! You control your daily activities, your food intake, your posture… everything! It is your actions that form the person you are and the types of aches and pains you feel day-to-day. When you visit a healthcare practitioner- be it Massage Therapy, Chiropractic, Physiotherapy or Naturopathy- they are helping you become the best you can be. Your healthcare team works their absolute hardest to help alleviate your pain, increase your range of motion, better your posture, etc. However, your practitioners only see you for a very small fraction of your life. Your one hour massage every 4 weeks will not counteract the 8 hours a day, 5 days a week you are sitting at a computer. This is why home care is important!
Home care is designed to give YOU the ability to help change what ails you, YOU are an integral member of your own health care team. Believe me, if we could fix everything for you ourselves, we would. If you want to get better, you need to do some of the work on your own.
My Home Care Hurts So I Stopped Doing It.
Home care SHOULD NOT HURT. Discomfort and difficulty are very different from pain. If you are in pain with your home care, STOP! Then promptly talk to your healthcare practitioner about it. If you are struggling with your home care it probably means you are either doing it incorrectly or it is too much for you in this stage of your treatment. Your practitioner will go over it with you again or give you an appropriate modification.
I Feel Better So I Stopped Doing My Home Care.
The most common injuries to muscles, nerves and joints in our practice are those that are caused by day-to-day repetitive tasks. For example, someone may come in with neck pain, shoulder pain and headaches. They have never had a major injury before but they work at a computer 8 hours a day. Most likely, the pain comes from a multitude of issues caused by working posture so they seek the help of massage therapy, physiotherapy and chiropractic care. After their treatment plan concludes, they feel better. 6 months later they are back in the clinic with pain again- why? Well, what has changed in this person’s life after treatment? Most likely they are still doing their same job and have not changed anything else in their daily routine.
"You can’t simply say you drank water for 6 weeks straight and now you don’t need it. Home care counteracts what you do to your body on a daily basis; therefore it is essential to maintain the positive gains you made while in therapy."
We can help put you on the right track to living a better, healthier life but you need to do work at home. Ask your team what they think you should do after your treatment plan has concluded. What sorts of exercise should you do every day? Should you join a yoga class? Pilates? Incorporate some free weights? Life is busy but if you do not have your health, what do you have? You live with your body every day and it is the most important house you will ever live in. Take care of it by doing your home care!
To learn more or to book an appointment with Kira Sernoskie, RMT or another health care professional, call Choice Health Centre at 902-404-3668 or an book an assessment online.