Physical Therapists are the experts in restoring strength, endurance, flexibility and stability to people who have been injured, are in pain, or have experienced an illness. Through therapeutic exercise, it is possible to have your function restored and live a life that is pain free.
The goal of any exercise program is to leave you feeling healthier and stronger. Therapeutic exercise, prescribed by a physical therapist, has similar goals. It incorporates a wide range of activities that help you regain your strength, flexibility, balance, endurance, and stability. However, therapeutic exercise takes into account your medical history, recent illness or injury, and stage of recovery to determine the safest, most effective exercises necessary to reach your goals. Whether you have been injured, experienced an illness, or are simply noticing you are losing your physical abilities, therapeutic exercise can prevent impairment and disability, while improving your overall fitness.
Custom Home Exercise Programs
In some cases, clients will benefit from customized home exercises and may not need weekly physical therapy visits. This is an excellent option if you have an ongoing issue such as back pain and would like exercises to keep your core strong and flexible. It’s also a great idea to have your exercise program updated 3-6 months after you have been discharged from therapy. If you would like to discuss a custom exercse plan, request an appointment to talk about your needs.
How does therapeutic exercise relieve pain?
It may seem counterintuitive to exercise when you are in pain. After all, the last thing you want to do when you are uncomfortable is make yourself more uncomfortable by moving and exercising. Yet when you treat pain with medication and rest, you are only allowing the supporting muscles to weaken, causing greater pain and less functionality of the area.
A physical therapist is trained to evaluate your body’s function, strength and range of motion as well as your pain levels when you perform basic tasks. They can then create a customized treatment plan, including therapeutic exercise, that can strengthen weak areas, restore function to healing or surgically repaired joints, and reduce your overall pain levels. Not only can you experience a pain free life, you can do so with greater strength and endurance than before.
Range of Motion
These exercises are aimed at increasing the range of motion in your joints and soft tissues. This may be done through active, passive or assisted stretching activities designed to help your joints move better, without pain.
Increasing power, endurance and muscle strength is vital to good balance and stability as well as bone and joint health. Resistance exercises and endurance exercises are designed to increase muscle strength without injury.
Hours spent at desks, bent over keyboards, poor muscle tone, and bad posture can lead to tight muscles and pain throughout your body. Loss of flexibility has a direct impact on muscle strength, balance, and increases risk of injury.
Assisted stretching allows physical therapist to help you achieve a deeper prolonged stretch to reverse the effects of tight muscles and joints.
Balance & Coordination
Every time you stand, walk, sit, brush your teeth, cook a meal, or take care of your daily activities, you are testing your balance and coordination between the muscular and skeletal systems in your balance and body.
Your ability to care for yourself or your loved ones depends on your ability to balance and coordinate of your arms, legs, hands, and feet. That is why balance and coordination exercises are so important, especially after an injury or illness. If you cannot balance, if you lose coordination, you lose the ability to care for yourself.
Is relaxation is part of therapeutic exercise? You bet! While it is important to work the muscles, joints, and soft tissues in the body, it is also important to help them relax. Pain relieving techniques including heat, cold, electrical stimulation, massage, or trigger point therapy can all help the body relax, improve your sleep, lower your blood pressure, and keep you look forward to continued exercise!
Area Specific Exercise
It’s easy to think of exercise as something we do with our muscles, but it is also important to help the body’s other systems. In these cases, exercises that target breathing or circulation may be recommended to help speed healing, improve blood flow or lower stress on the body.
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