Self Treatment / Home Exercise Programs

Based upon the results of your physical therapy evaluation, appropriate and specific home exercises will be prescribed and diagrams provided when applicable. This may involve stretches, strengthening and stability exercises. Education is also a vital component and may include information on improving posture, correcting faulty biomechanics and maximizing ergonomic efficiency of your daily work environment. Educational teaching aids may be used, such as personalized video and digital photography. Below are some samples of how we might teach some of the self treatment strategies for the patient to maximise gains on their own.

Remember, treating yourself is one of the best ways to promote and speed your healing process, whether you use self-unwinding, strengthening exercises, stretching or the techniques below that use some relatively inexpensive manual therapy tools. As with any new exercise or self-treatment technique, use caution until you are completely familiar with the movements involved and understand how the exercise or technique is supposed to feel. It is up to you to protect yourself. Even though these techniques are generally considered quite gentle, it is possible to over-do them and cause further injury. Be careful, and you will be safe!

The 4” inflatable ball is an excellent all-around tool to target tight muscles and restricted fascia, especially in the back, buttocks and abdomen. Generally, it’s less effective on the legs and arms, mostly because of it’s shape and tendency to roll out from under the limb in question. Click here to watch a video (by my colleague Scott van Niekerk of Wholistic Physical Therapy in Brewster, NY) demonstrating how to use the 4” yellow ball.

The foam roller will quickly become one of your favorite self-treatment tools, or, in some cases the tool you love to hate. Either way, it is highly effective for releasing tight muscles and restricted fascia in the back and legs, and to a lesser extent the abdomen. There are a series of wonderful stretches that your therapist can show you how to do for the psoas muscles (typically involved in many low back pain issues) and dural tube releases for decompressing the spinal cord and spine. Click here to watch a video (by my colleague Scott van Niekerk of Wholistic Physical Therapy in Brewster, NY) demonstrating how to use the foam roller.

The Theracane is the newest of the self-treatment tools presented here, but has proven incredibly useful for releasing tight muscles and working on specific trigger points almost anywhere in the body, but especially in the neck and shoulders where so many people carry excessive tension. Click here to watch a video (by my colleague Scott van Niekerk of Wholistic Physical Therapy in Brewster, NY) demonstrating how to use the Theracane.

Diaphragmatic breathing is a time-tested relaxation technique that can help you reduce the physical tension you carry in your body, as a result of our hectic modern life. Click here to watch this video by my colleague Scott van Niekerk of Wholistic Physical Therapy in Brewster, NY) demonstrating this simple, but powerfully effective relaxation technique.

The Brandt-Daroff self-treatment exercise for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) may help you manage your dizziness symptoms. However, you should check with your Healing Motion therapist or physician to be sure your symptoms are coming from BPPV, since this technique will not work for other causes of vertigo. Click here to watch this video of how to perform this simple, yet effective exercise.