This story begins with a trip to the Physiotherapist. You tell them that you have pain, feel stiff, your muscles are tight or weak, or simply you can’t get out of a chair comfortably. After a thorough examination, the Physiotherapist will often say, ‘To get you better, I’ll need to give you some exercises’.

Now your reaction can go either way: 1. You are excited and can’t wait to start your rehabilitation programme or 2. You heart sinks, thinking, that sounds like too much work!

If your response sounded more like number two and your brain said, ‘oh no’, then let’s go through the tips to keep you motivated.

Excuses for Skipping Physiotherapy Exercises

At Power Physiotherapy no matter what injury you have, (neck or back pain, sporting injury, post-surgery), we will always work out a way to keep you motivated, engaged and active in the rehabilitation programme. We may even have you loving your exercises before you know it!

1. Time: the excuse is, ‘I don’t have time to do my exercises’.


· Set aside small blocks during the day for exercise rather than one big block. Example, 10 minutes after breakfast, after lunch and after dinner. That equates to 30 minutes of exercise and the job is done.

· Write it in your diary and schedule it into your day at a specific time so that nothing else interrupts you at that time.

· Pick a time of day that really works for you and stick to that time every day. Example, you might be more of a morning person, so schedule your exercises in the morning.

2. Motivation: the excuse is, ‘Exercises are so boring!’.


· Ask a friend or family member to do the exercises with you.

· Put some music on.

· Ask the physiotherapist if you can add in an activity that you love as part of your programme. Example, treadmill, bike riding or even dancing.

3. Pain: the excuse is, ‘I can’t exercise because it hurts’.


· Tell the physiotherapist that your exercises are painful so they can modify them or provide you with alternatives.

The physiotherapist can modify your exercises in 4 main ways:

1) Reduce the number of repetitions.

2) Reduce the weight or load.

3) Reduce the range you are working through.

4) Do the exercise in a different position. Example, in lying instead of standing.

· The physiotherapist may recommend pool exercises if land exercises are too painful.

· Start slowly: At Power Physiotherapy our saying goes – walk before you can run, run before you can sprint. Getting to the finish line of your rehabilitation can be a slow process so take gradual steps.

4. Value: the excuse is, ‘I don’t see the point in these exercises’.


· Set goals with your physiotherapist. Example, you want to be able to walk to the shops, or you want to be able to play with your kids, or you want to return to tennis. By setting goals you will have something to strive for.

· Don’t underestimate the achievement of mini goals. Example, your range of movement in your knee has increased from 50 degrees to 90 degrees, the strength in your shoulder has gone from 3/5 to 4/5, your ability to sit has increased from 10 minutes to 30 minutes. Mini goals are just as important as the ‘big goals’.

· Define for yourself how achieving your goals through exercise will make you feel, not only physically but emotionally and mentally.

5. Forgetting: the excuse is, ‘I keep forgetting to do my exercises, so my programme is a failure’.


· Don’t be so hard on yourself – everyone is human and it’s normal to encounter bumps in the road during a rehabilitation programme.

· Every day is a new day – so start the day fresh with a positive attitude. Forget about yesterday.

· Remember that one day of exercise in the week is better than zero days of exercise in the week. Any effort is a positive one.

Power Physiotherapy’s Approach to Helping Patients Stick to their Rehabilitation Programmes

At Power Physiotherapy we understand that sticking to an exercise or rehabilitation programme can be hard for many people. Our goal is to work WITH YOU, to ENCOURAGE YOU, and to SUPPORT YOU. It’s normal to go off track with your programme. That’s why we encourage you to work closely with your physiotherapist, tell them how you are feeling and where you might be struggling. There is always a solution to your difficulties and there are many different ways your programme can be changed to best suit you. Remember that at the end of the day, we want you to be successful to reach your goals.