When you say the words “physical therapy” most people automatically assume you have had surgery. Yet physical therapy goes beyond post-surgical care restoring strength, endurance, flexibility and stability to people who have been injured, are in pain, or have experienced illness. Through therapeutic exercise, it is possible to have your function restored and live a life that is pain-free. Contact us to schedule your consultation and find out how we can
When you think about Physical Therapy, most people automatically assume you have had surgery or some other injury resulting in the need for rehabilitation. Yet physical therapy goes beyond post-surgical care- physical therapy works on restoring strength, endurance, flexibility, and stability to people who have been injured, are in pain, or have experienced illness, and even those just wanting to overall improve their physical performance during different activities.
Therapeutic exercises can be used in a variety of settings, as mentioned above, physical therapy is one option. Another field is occupational therapy. In both of these rehabilitation settings, the focus of therapeutic exercise is to rebuild lost functions when dealing with daily activities. Through therapeutic exercise, it is possible to have your physical function restored and/or live a life that is pain-free.
To understand therapeutic exercise better, it’s important to understand the different types of physical therapy:
The goal of any exercise program is to leave you feeling healthier and stronger than when you began. Therapeutic exercise during physical therapy has similar goals but incorporates a wide range of activities and movements that will help you regain or maintain your strength, flexibility, balance, endurance, and/or stability.
Reasons, why one might consider physical therapy to learn about therapeutic exercises, will vary from person to person:
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.
Typically performed as a part of a physical therapy treatment plan, this type of exercise is prescribed by a physical therapist. Your physical therapist will evaluate your condition- along with reviewing your medical history and then assign a variety of therapeutic exercises to complete a treatment plan that fits well with your life.
Both types of actions drastically improve a person’s physical function but are quite different by design. Therapeutic exercise refers to specific exercises that address weakness or loss of mobility but are not functional tasks. An example of this would be a person using dumbbells’ to mimic a chest press motion, this increases function and gains strength, but is not an everyday movement.
This being said, therapeutic activities refer to everyday tasks which improves range of motion and strength. Something such as reaching for an object on the top shelf would be considered a therapeutic activity- the difference being that the exercise, overhead shoulder press, which strengthens the shoulder, is the exercise that mimics an everyday activity, but is not one. T
Each therapeutic exercise is classified by its purpose.
People also associate physical therapy and therapeutic exercise with manual therapy. Manual therapy is great for achieving a faster reeducation in pain reception, however, it may not be the best practice for particular injuries or individuals. Oftentimes, a combination of manual and therapeutic exercise is prescribed in order to work on both pain and strength during physical therapy treatment. Each diagnosis differs and will determine the type of services that will best fit your specific treatment plan.
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. 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 improve your overall quality of life, but you can experience pain-free life movements, you can do so with greater strength and endurance than before.
Still curious how physical therapy services and therapeutic exercise can help you? Call one of our physical therapy locations, or click the “book an appointment” button above! Let us help you get on the road to recovery!