You have an injury. It’s been niggling for awhile but you’ve been hoping it will “go away”. Weeks or months has gone by and it’s still giving you grief so you decide to finally see your favorite Physio/Osteo/Chiro/Massage Therapist to see what’s going on. They assess, diagnose, treat and give you some “homework”. But you think the exercises are boring and you don’t feel the burn while doing them so you just go back to the box and work around the pain. You continue to book appointments to get fixed which makes you feel like it’s getting better, for about a week. All the while, continuing to ignore that homework they gave you and saying “yeah, I do them”. We, as practitioners, know that you are lying to us!!!! We don’t give you homework to do for the fun of it. We do it because it plays an important role in helping you GET BETTER. Would you ever rock up to the box, not having practised a high skill movement and just expect to perform it with the ease of an Olympian? No. So why do you think you can get better from an injury without putting some work in? A major part of our jobs is to figure out WHY you are experiencing the injury in the first place. Unless you were tackled in a game and tore your ACL, you most likely have developed an injury over time due to some underlying issue – whether that be a mobility problem or a stability problem. Either way, the WHY needs to be addressed and this usually is tackled in the form of exercises that you need to do independantly. Reasons to get your homework done:
- It will save you money: you won’t have to visit your Physio as often if you do the things we tell you to do at home or the box. Sure, if you love us that much that you want to visit us more, that’s fine. But less time at the Physio’s clinic means more money in your wallet for those new shoes/Lululemon/skipping rope, weight belt, protein, etc. You get the idea.
- You will get better, faster: think of the homework as practise. Practise anything and you’ll become better at it. Simple, really.
- You will get stronger/more stable/more mobile: this will reduce your chance of injury in the long run. Which will enhance #1 and #2.
- You will learn to appreciate your body: I’ve heard countless people say (who DO their homework) “Wow, I’ve only just realized what it’s like to be able to switch my glutes on”. When something isnt’ working properly, you don’t know what you’re missing. Once the light bulb switches on, you won’t forget it!
So there you have it. Stop making excuses and just get them done. I suggest to my clients to integrate them into a warm-up or a cool-down. Get to the box 15 minutes early or stay back after the class. Do your stretches in front of the TV at night. You’ll thank us for it!