What is Therapeutic Exercise in Physical Therapy?
Physical therapists often use therapeutic exercise in patient rehabilitation. This exercise can help restore muscular and skeletal function, correct impairments, and reduce pain. It also increases flexibility. Your physical therapist might have other goals for therapeutic exercise in order to treat your musculoskeletal problems.
For many reasons, therapeutic exercise can be prescribed.
Different types of therapeutic exercise
Physical therapists can prescribe many different types of exercise for their patients. We’ll be looking at four of them. Your specific condition will be considered when creating a program. Programs can also be modified depending on your overall health. In the initial stages of rehabilitation, a physical therapist might create a modified plan and add other elements as your condition improves.
Let’s take a look at different types of therapeutic exercises so that you know what to expect if your physical therapy recommends them.
After an injury or surgery, muscles can become weaker quickly. Strength training exercises are a great way to rebuild the muscle tissue in those areas. Muscles can become “inhibited” or shut down by pain, which can lead to weakness.
Depending on the level of your fitness or stage of recovery, strength exercises can be very light or intense. Strengthening exercises can also be called resistance training. This means that you use weights, bands, or your own weight to increase and build muscle strength.
Endurance training is a type of exercise that requires more muscle movement and lasts longer. Because of patient’s limited physical abilities, this may not be included in the initial therapeutic exercise program. However, it can be added as the patient becomes stronger and can tolerate more exercise.
If your physical therapist recommends it, endurance exercises can be done at your home. Endurance training can be done in a variety of ways, including walking, swimming, and taking the stairs instead. Endurance exercises can also improve the cardiovascular system.
3. Balance and coordination
Because the muscles in the area affected by injury are weak, physical coordination can be difficult. The muscles can be strengthened through therapeutic exercises, which will also help them to work more efficiently together. You can move more effectively and less likely to re-injure yourself if your muscles work together as a team. Balance and coordination go hand-in-hand to improve posture, joint stability, and coordination.
Balance exercises can be as simple and as straightforward as standing on one leg for short periods of time. Or they may involve equipment such as an exercise ball. To improve coordination and balance, your physical therapist might recommend beginning yoga. This type of exercise is sometimes called neuromuscular rehabilitation because it directly affects the interaction between the muscular and neural systems.
Stiff joints and muscles can make stretching difficult. Flexibility exercises can be used to loosen muscles and increase range of motion. Because they involve slow, controlled movements that are performed in small increments, these therapeutic exercises are low-intensity. Because flexibility exercises are best when your muscles are warm, they are the last type of exercise in a physical therapy appointment.
Therapeutic exercise has many benefits
Therapeutic exercise’s primary purpose is to decrease pain and inflammation, increase mobility and mobility in those with chronic conditions such as post-operative injuries or chronic conditions. Each exercise in a program is designed to improve muscle function and joint function, and promote healing. Exercise during recovery can help reduce the chance of injury.
Therapeutic exercise is not only beneficial for your particular orthopedic problem, but it also has other benefits. People often notice improvements in other areas, such as:
- You will feel less anxious
- Better posture
- Fitness improvements
- Fall risk reduced
- Better sleep
- A general sense of well-being
What to expect at your appointment in Green Bay
Your physical therapist will review your therapeutic exercise plan once you have been given it. Each exercise will be taught to you. To ensure proper form, your physical therapist will assist you with the movements.
After you feel comfortable with the movements you might be asked to continue the exercises on your own. If you have any questions about the exercise, or feel discomfort or pain during a movement, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance. You can ask your physical therapist to modify the exercises to suit you. It is important to learn how to perform the exercises on your own, as you will likely have a home program.
For strengthening muscles, endurance and balance, consistency is crucial. Many injuries happen gradually so it takes time for them to heal. Even if you’re not there, follow your physical therapists plan. You are responsible for being active in your recovery.
See Our Therapists in Green Bay
Inspirit Therapy’s physical therapy team understands how injury or musculoskeletal pain can hinder your daily activities. To help you get on your feet again, we offer personalized care, including therapeutic exercise programs. Call us today to schedule your appointment for physical therapy and find out if therapeutic exercise might be right for you.
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