Home Exercise Program (HEP) = Homework

If you have ever been to a physiotherapist you know, without fail, they will give you “homework”, more accurately known as a Home Exercise Program (HEP).

This can consist of one or a set of therapeutic exercises that is personalized for you, the patient, to carry out at home. The prescribed program assists in a self-maintenance program to achieve maximal rehabilitation gains in the shortest time possible.

Why is Adherence to HEP Important?

HEP is an integral part of the rehabilitation process and its compliance is often last on the priority list. We all get busy, that’s “life”, but the success of your rehabilitation program depends on HEP compliance. Not only does your physio know this, research proves it.

One study showed that compliance with a HEP is important for achieving rehabilitation goals. Patients were seen to experience pain relief far more quickly when an assigned HEP was followed judiciously.

Let’s take a deep dive into the WHYs of HEP compliance.

  1. It allows the patient to be involved in their rehabilitation progress and achievement of goals.
  2. With the right HEP, patients can objectively gauge their progress and readiness to return to their pre-injury status.
  3. Compliance with HEP allows the physiotherapist to progress the patient into more advanced and functional therapeutic exercises.
  4. HEP improves muscle memory, especially in cases where specific and new movement patterns are required. This guarantees that muscle imbalances are addressed and thoroughly trained to prevent re-injury.
  5. HEP builds a motor pattern, a psychological imprint if you will. With continuous performance of HEP, movements can become automatic and the exercises can turn into positive habits.
  6. HEP provides patients with readily available tools to use at their free will. If a patient experiences re-injury, they can use these learned behaviors to start their own rehab if they cannot get access to a physiotherapist immediately.
  7. HEP can provide treatment to avoid recurrence or injury flare-ups. This also prevents injury from becoming worse and unmanageable.

    The Takeaway

As stated above, compliance to a HEP, determines the success of the program. There are many reasons why patients don’t comply with their HEP,  lack of motivation,  lack of interest and limited time to list a few. However, there is a reason why HEP is called a “prescription” exercise, its analogous to a medical doctor prescribing medication. Compliance not only helps with recovery but also encourages and builds confidence in the rehab journey.

Physiotherapists are resourceful and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to anatomy, body mechanics and overall wellness.

If you’re experiencing any physical limitations, aches/pain that prevent you from being your best, reach out.  We at Physio In The Six Inc. can help create a personalized HEP that’s right for you and address your needs.