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HEP Guidelines

Pay attention to these instructions and you will succeed with your program at home. 

There are many components to an HEP, and it is imperative that the exercises are performed as prescribed. Sometimes a patient is asked not to perform any exercise at home due to her risk of self-injury, worsening of symptoms, inability to perform correctly or without feedback.


When performing a strengthening program, patient is instructed to follow these strengthening guidelines:
Rest 30 seconds between sets, perform 3 sets
Fatigue should occur between 8 and 15 reps
Be aware of posture and be sure to maintain proper neck, back and limb alignment
Perform the exercise 3 times a week for optimal results

Always stop if you have pain or cannot perform consistently


Research has shown that stretching can increase the length of a muscle when performed in a specific manner. Patients under 60 years of age should generally hold a stretch position to tolerance without worsening of symptoms for 30 seconds to 1 min and repeat 3 times per set, and repeated 3 times per day. Once over 60 years of age, patients should hold the stretch for 60 seconds, 3 times, 3-4 times per day.


Stabilization exercises are generally not fatiguing in the traditional sense although they may be difficult to perform. It is important to perform the activity in a pain free manner as often as you would like.

Range of Motion

AROM exercises are generally performed to gain or maintain degrees of movement in a joint. When positioned in a manner so the movement is against gravity, this can be a strengthening activity although AROM is more likely a low level exercise. Active always trumps passive. It is important to perform the activity in a pain free manner as often as you would like.


Ice is an important modality that can effectively reduce the post exercise pain experience. Applying an ice pack for up to 15 minutes to accomplish numbness at the affected area is recommended following all strengthening sessions. It is also appropriate to apply ice to a body part that has had deep tissue manual therapy techniques interventions. Be sure to place a thin sheet or towel between the ice and skin to avoid a burn

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