Become Your Own Rehabilitation Therapist

by Kristina Coates

Ever thought you could become your own rehabilitation therapist? It may sound a little out there, after all that is why we have medical professionals, to help us get better, right? Whilst I would never advocate to replace seeing medical professionals, after my own experience of mounting medical bills, I started to wonder, what could I do to be proactive with my health.

Have you ever wondered what more you could be doing to help facilitate healing and prevent further injuries when you’re in between medical appointments? It can be frustrating not knowing what more you can do to prevent injuring yourself so you can avoid the trips to and from the doctor. There are actually numerous ways you can work on your own rehabilitation in the home. I'm sharing what I've learned here so you can be inspired to ask the medical professionals helping you with your health concerns to see if any (or all!) of these suggestions can help you too. 

If you’re someone with a very active life, having an injury can be very limiting. Recovering as quickly and safely as possible is a priority. So what are some methods you can do from home hand in hand with medical advice to boost your own rehabilitation?


The Answer Is In The Question

If you’re anything like me, odds are you may have found yourself at one point in the car home from the doctor and realising you forgot to ask them something important.

Something I make a habit of doing to avoid this 'fun' moment is before going into the doctor I prep all the things I want to remember to ask the Doctor, which helps me feel prepared. Of course your Doctor will tell you anything important to rehabilitate an injury, but some things I like to have prepared to ask for my own peace of mind include:

  • What are all my injuries? (if you’ve been involved in a more complex accident you may not know this beforehand)
  • What will this cost me? I find this is one to ask straight up so you’re prepared and avoid getting blindsided by bills later on
  • Will I be in pain for long?
  • Is it safe for me to return to work? 
  • Are there natural alternatives to the medicines you have prescribed?
  • Are there cheaper options for treatment?
  • What can I do at home to help my recovery?

I've learned that there is no such thing as a stupid question, but you will feel stupid if you don't ask a question at all! The more questions the better.


Are You Getting All Available Treatment?

If you have health insurance with extras. It's worth a call to your health fund to check all your benefits. You may find yourself with Chiropractor, Physiotherapy, Acupuncture or Remedial Massage benefits that you can use.


If In Doubt Get Help

In terms of doing all you can to rehabilitate your injury at home the first step is to ask your medical professional before trying alternate therapies, and making sure they do not negate any of your doctor prescribed medications. 

Alternatively, maybe you injure yourself and you’re unsure of whether or not you should visit a doctor for advice or just wing it at home and see how you go. The tricky thing with injuries from sports or especially everyday activities is often they may not look bad or only hurt from certain positions, so it can be hard to tell if you even need a doctor. How can you tell if that ladder you dropped on your foot just resulted in bruising or caused some damage and needs to be strapped or taped up? Unless you yourself are a medical professional, there’s not really a way to tell - this isn't to say go running to the doctor every time you stub your toe, but to exercise the general philosophy better safe than sorry. This is especially true if you have had a sports related injury and you’re divided on what to do - better safe than sorry. 

A handy service I've used is Health Direct. It's a 24 hour, 7 Days a week, phone service you can call and speak with a registered nurse. The number is 1800 022 222. They will ask you detailed questions and assess you over the phone. They will then give a recommendation on what steps to take and whether you still need to go to you GP. I've even had a case with one of my kids where they've assessed over the phone and organised an ambulance to be sent to our house.

What Do You Need To Recover From Home? 

There are lots of at home rehabilitation programs you can follow from home with minimal equipment so you can take charge of your own rehabilitation at home. The good news is that for starters, most of the stretching and therapeutic exercises a Doctor or Physiotherapist will recommend to do at home don’t involve much, if any, equipment - just specialised stretches for the particular area you have injured. 

Rest Is The Best

The simplest remedies are usually the best - including resting and allowing the area you’ve injured time to heal without putting pressure or weight on it. It may sound like a given but after the first few days of an injury you can get pretty fed up and consider reusing the area of injury quicker than you would think. So, to put it plainly, don’t! Using a muscle or joint before it has healed is a sure fast way to cause more damage. 


Can stretching really help me heal? On its own, depending on the injury, perhaps not. It is definitely important to check with your Doctor and/ or Medical Professional treating you for your injuries before you attempt any stretches. However, once you have checked (may be add 'What Stretches Can I Do To Help Recovery?' to the questions you will ask at your next appointment) stretching is one of the most recommended methods of nerve release to avoid pain flare ups and make sure the muscles around the injury are remaining flexible.

A pinched nerve can be painful and sometimes debilitating, and prevent you from doing activities you love, so be sure to ask your physician or doctor what are some stretching exercises you can do to help facilitate healing and aid rehabilitation. 

Strength and Resistance Training

If you are requiring physical therapy to rehabilitate  your body after an injury, you may be given some resistance bands. For example, if you had a hand or arm related injury, you might be suggested to use a Hand Strengthener, or gel strength ball to rebuild muscle dexterity and strength. These are easily accessible at most sporting stores or available to order online, or even replaced by household items like a leather belt in place of light resistance bands or an old tennis ball in place of a gel ball. 

Taping or Strapping up Injuries

If you are suffering from sprains, pulled muscles or ligament tears, a common method of rehabilitation that you can do yourself from your own home is using tape to strap around the injury. What does this do? Taping an area can be both a preventative effort and a protective method against a pre existing injury. Taping or strapping an area of concern can prevent further injury by limiting movement in the joint, as well as reducing swelling by compressing soft tissue - ask your physiotherapist or doctor before taping anything yourself. 

Products To Help Your Own Rehabilitation at Home

At Live Well Health Essentials we understand the importance of being able to work on your own rehabilitation at home, which is why so many of our products are designed to make your injury rehabilitation as pain free and accessible as possible.  

What sets us apart from other companies? Live Well Health Essentials Hot and Cold Therapy Bags are filled with lupin, a natural, lightweight and odourless alternative filling for therapeutic heating and cooling packs. Not only that, they are environmentally friendly, inside and out. Our therapy bags are a drug free and easy to use pain management solution, with versatile use and strap-on options to provide lumbar support for back, neck or core injuries that contour to your body to provide relief from pain and symptoms. 

The therapy bags can be popped in the microwave to be used as a heat pack, or put in the freezer to serve as a cold pack, and are available in larger and smaller sizes to suit your needs.

Where Can You Find Live Well Health Essentials?

Live Well Health Essentials products are proudly stocked all over Australia as well as sold online. We are growing every day with the partnerships of our wonderful stockists, who you can find with this easy to use location finder for Live Well Health Essentials Stockists.

If you can’t find us, please don’t hesitate to ask someone at whichever pharmacy or local health shop you are at as they may have our products in stock but not have updated our locations list yet!

Taking control of your health is not always an easy road, but hopefully these tips help you find some new ways to focus on rehabilitating your body at home. There’s no better reward than being able to go back to doing the activities you love with a healthier body and a healthier mindset.