Importance & Background of Physiotherapy Exercises


Research has shown that patient’s are most compliant with a maximum of THREE exercises in their home exercise program. Research also shows that a whopping 65% of patient are non-compliant to following their prescribed Physiotherapy exercises.


Why are Physiotherapy exercises often simple/easy/basic?


When an individual is injured – this will often result in some time (this time frame varies) of disuse/lack of use of the affected area, or altered use of the affected area – for example, if you have injured your shoulder you will either avoid using your shoulder or use it differently to avoid sensations of pain.


This disuse results in an alteration of muscles that are used, and it is also believed that it results in deep, stabilising muscles being switched off (as the brain wants to avoid sensations of pain). Therefore you have different muscles turning on when you move your shoulder and an altered pattern of muscle recruitment.

Example of low back pain.


You will often hear the 
importance of the “core” musculature, this is because there is a deep core muscle, called your transverse abdominus, which has attachments all the way from the front of your body to the back (it acts as a corset around your entire trunk).

Therefore, if you are experiencing sensations of low back pain – the brain will stop sending messages for this stabilising muscle to activate and hence it will “switch off”.


Image credit: “© Kenhub ( / Illustrator: Yousun Koh”


This is where the importance of Physiotherapy comes in to the picture. Your hands-on Physiotherapy session helps to decrease sensations of pain within the lower back or shoulder through a variety of methods – however if you do not help your brain switch on deep stabilising muscles by performing your basic activation exercises (of either the core or the shoulder) then the altered muscle activation patterns will not change and your pain will become persistent. There is a complex neural component to this pattern however to put it simply in a diagram:

Pain Diagram-page-001


To prevent pain becoming persistent – ensure you do your re-training exercises given to you by your Physiotherapist. Whilst they may seem “simple” and “boring” you are re-training the neuromuscular pathway to the deep stabilising muscles involved in control of the injured/painful joint.

If you have any questions or would like to book in to see one of our physiotherapists, please do not hesitate to contact Get Active on 1300 8 9 10 11 or email us at





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