Most People Don’t Stick To Their Rehab Program…Will You?

A recent study made everyone at our Massey physio clinics sit up and take notice. It was a bit alarming, to be honest. As physiotherapists who are on a mission to make people mobile, pain-free and happy again, this report showed us that many physio patients are not as committed as the people treating them. That’s a worry.

The study “Barriers to treatment adherence in physiotherapy outpatient clinics” revealed that the vast majority of physiotherapists do exactly the right thing by their patients, and make every effort to make them well again. That’s certainly the case at our clinics. But here’s the concerning part. The study also showed that 7 out of 10 patients do not fully adhere to their treatment plan! That’s 70% of patients who don’t rigidly stick to the rehab program set out for them by their physio. No wonder it concerns us.

The work we do with our patients in our clinics is obviously a huge component of their treatment. It’s something we can monitor, and it allows us to give them the best possible care while they’re in our hands. But in many cases, we will also prescribe certain exercises as part of an at-home rehab plan. This is done so the patient can continue to strengthen the affected area and improve function and mobility. This plan also speeds up the healing process, minimises the risk of further injury and gives us progress markers that guide us throughout the process.

When you see why we put these programs in place, you’ll understand the importance we place on them. Obviously, we can’t be with our patients 24/7, so the work they do on their own is a vital part of their treatment. We trust that they’ll stick to the plan, and enjoy the rewards of doing so. By not adhering to the program, they won’t make the progress they’re capable of. So, to read that study and see the 7 out of 10 statistic makes us take a deep breath and hope that our patients aren’t part of that group!

So, if you ever get in touch with us seeking physio treatment, rest assured we will do everything we can to get you moving again. But we ask you for something in return. If we prescribe a rehab plan to follow at home, please stick with it. Not so much for our sake, but for yours. Your recovery will be a much smoother and faster one if you do.


0800 111 788


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Here at Physio Connect, everything that we do is built off the belief that all New Zealanders should have equal access to expert, specialised musculoskeletal services that utilise the latest clinical evidence and treatment protocols.


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