Physical therapy can be used to strengthen muscles and joints following an injury. This is typically done at a physical therapist's office, a place that vaguely resembles a gym. However, for some people, leaving the house and going to a physical therapist's office one or more times a week can be hard. You may be unable to drive because of your injuries, you may hate driving in snowy conditions, or it may take a long time to get out of your house while using a walker or wheelchair you are not accustomed to using. If you fall into this group of people, at-home physical therapy may be something you should look into. Learning the pros and cons of at-home physical therapy will help you decide if it is right for your situation.
Advantages of At-Home Physical Therapy
The biggest benefit to at-home physical therapy is that you don't have to leave your home. The therapist comes right to you. If you are more comfortable in your home, don't have transportation, or don't want to deal with the hassle of leaving, this is a huge benefit.
The other major benefit to at-home physical therapy is that the therapist gets to see where you actually live and the challenges you face in this environment. When you work with a therapist in their office, they can't see how high you have to reach to put your dishes away or how many steps you have to walk to go from your room to the bathroom. Being able to see these things allows them to tailor a plan specifically to you. They can focus on areas you deal with in your day-to-day life, making it easier for you to complete these tasks while also healing.
Disadvantages of At-Home Physical Therapy
One of the disadvantages to at-home physical therapy is the cost. It is generally more expensive than visiting a traditional physical therapist. This is because the therapist comes to you and needs to be reimbursed for their time. When they are in their office, they can potentially see 8 patients for 8 one hour sessions per day. When they have to travel to see patients, they are able to see fewer patients. The cost of this is typically passed along to you.
The other downside to at-home physical therapy is that you may have access to less equipment at your home. When you go to a physical therapist's office, they typically have a wide range of strengthening devices. Many of these are not portable. As such, the range of equipment that can be used to strengthen your injured body part is limited.
Deciding whether to do physical therapy at home is a big decision. Educating yourself on the pros and cons of at-home physical therapy will help you make an informed decision as to which is best for you.
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