Your Home Program Matters!

Your Home Program Matters!

On a recent day in the office, I had both extremes: 1). The super compliant patient – Patient #1 2). The non compliant patient – Patient #2. Both patients had the same diagnosis (generalized, non-specific low back pain); however, each patient’s internal make up was much different. The super compliant patient (Patient #1) was a type A, extremely motivated, analytical and a high achiever that wanted this episode of pain resolved as quickly as possible. The pain was impacting the quality of his life and quality of his workouts. The non compliant patient (patient #2) was not particularly motivated, fearful and hesitant.  Patient #2’s pain impacted the quality of their life; however, there weren’t clear cut goals.

Both patients were roughly the same age, same height, same weight, and were of the same sex.  It shouldn’t be a shocker then that patient #1 had an outstanding outcome and was discharged in 6 visits over the course of 3 weeks.  Patient #2 had an average to above average outcome meaning they reached some of their therapeutic goals, but not all of them. Patient #2 required 15 visits over 7 weeks before discharge. In the spirit of complying with home care recommendations, we give you the top 5 reasons patients should do their prescribed program.

5 Reasons Patients Should Do Their Prescribed Home Exercise Program:

5). Your healthcare professional can’t care more about your health than you:  Health care is a partnership between the patient and the provider (doctor, chiropractor, physical therapist, athletic trainer, etc.). If one part of the partnership doesn’t do their job, then the partnership fails and the chance for an outstanding outcome (no pain and return to previous levels of function) decreases significantly.

4). “Success” or “failure” of a diagnosis sometimes is dependent on you doing your home exercises: A diagnosis in some cases is an educated guess on what is wrong based on the signs, symptoms, history, physical exam and the health care provider’s experience. Since diagnosis can be an educated guess, a patient’s compliance with their home care recommendations and exercises helps either confirm or reject the diagnosis. So your participation helps clear this up sometimes. 

save time

3). Saves you time (less office visits): The first patient was discharged in 6 visits over 3 weeks.
The second patient was discharged in 15 visits over 7 weeks.  The point here is that the second patient took double the time to achieve most (not all) of their therapeutic goals. That time could best be served playing with your kids at the park, riding your bike with your family or grabbing a beer with a buddy you’ve haven’t seen in years.

save money

2). Saves you MONEY! (less copays, deductibles, coinsurances): Let’s just say to simplify things that both patients have the same plan (for example $50 copays, $500 deductible that’s been met, coverage at 100%).  Patient 1 (the super motivated patient) paid $300 out of pocket.  Patient #2 paid $750 out of pocket.  That’s a difference of $450. That money could be used for something else of importance like paying for your groceries or gas.  It could go in your retirement account or your child’s college fund.

Now imagine that Patient #1 has a plan of: $25 copays – $500 deductible (deductible met in full) – 100% coverage.


Patient #2 having a plan of: $25 copays – $1500 deductible (nothing met to the deductible) – 80% coverage.

Patient #1 pays $150 out of pocket and Patient #2 pays $1,500 out of pocket.  For sake of ease, the projected cost of the visit is $100. That’s a difference of $1,350 and patient #2 just met their deductible meaning they would now incur 20% of all future expenses at the office as well as $25 copays. That money could easily be used for something else if a patient was compliant.


1). Saves you pain and suffering:  The most important reason to do your home exercises is because of the real reason why you are there. Doing your home exercises can save you pain and suffering! You can’t really quantify that. 

After reading this quick blurb, can you afford not to do your home exercises?

*** BONUS: Reduced future episodes of pain & care required:  As a bonus, doing your home exercises may reduce the chances for future episodes of pain and care required which again saves you time, money, pain and suffering. ***  

*** About the Author ***

Dr. Pappas is a chiropractic physician, certified athletic trainer and certified strength and conditioning specialist. Dr.

Dr. Dino Pappas

               Dr. Dino Pappas

Pappas blends the best of physical medicine with the best of integrated medicine to help patients and athletes of all shapes and sizes. He utilizes tools such as chiropractic manipulation, soft tissue work (IASTM, Graston, myofascial release, neural mobilization and joint mobilization), biomedical acupuncture, functional movement based assessment, the McKenzie Method, strength training and conditioning, kinesiology taping, customized nutrition and specialty laboratory testing (blood, saliva, urine, and stool) when needed. Dr. Pappas’ clinical focus is sports medicine, conservative orthopedics, rehabilitation and integrated medicine. He is extremely passionate on empowering patients towards their goals. His sports medicine interests are endurance athletes, overhead athletes (pitchers, throwers, volleyball players and tennis players), contact sports athletes (football, rugby, lacrosse, field hockey, soccer and basketball) and Crossfit athletes. He has worked with athletes at all levels from professional to amateur. He reads and interprets the medical literature daily to stay abreast of cutting edge advances in his field. The doctor is currently a sports medicine volunteer for Andrew High School in Tinley Park, IL. He is an avid runner and aspiring triathlete having completed 5 marathons, 4 half marathons and numerous 5 and 10k races. The doctor is also active in the local, suburban Chicago running scene. He has goals of qualifying and competing in the Boston and New York Marathons, the Ironman in Kona, Hawaii, and climbing Mt. Kiliminjaro in Kenya, Africa. One day he hopes to serve his country as a team chiropractor for the United States Olympic teams and serve as a team chiropractor for one of the professional teams in Chicago. His mantra is “Why Put Off Feeling Good?” He can be reached by email at or at 708-532-2346. ***

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