Physical therapy involves many interventions aimed at restoring strength, endurance, flexibility, balance and stability to people who have endured an injury, have chronic pain, or want to avoid costly and painful surgery. With therapeutic exercise in addition to other physical therapy treatment, it is possible to have your function restored and live a life that is pain-free. Contact Athletic Advantage Physical Therapy to schedule your consultation and find out how we can relieve your pain.
What is therapeutic exercise?
The goal of any exercise program is to leave you feeling healthier and stronger than when you began. Therapeutic exercise incorporates a wide range of activities that help you regain or maintain your strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, endurance, or stability. Therapeutic exercise can prevent impairment and disability while improving your overall fitness. Therapeutic exercises are typically performed as a part of a physical therapy treatment plan or as a follow up to manual therapy techniques.
Types of Therapeutic Exercises
Each therapeutic exercise is classified by its purpose.
- 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.
- Muscle Performance. 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.
- Posture. Hours spent at desks, bending over keyboards, poor muscle tone, or simple habit can all lead to terrible posture. What you may not realize is that posture has a direct impact on muscle strength, balance and a tendency toward injury. Posture exercises are aimed at correcting poor posture, not just when you exercise, but in your life in general which can alleviate aches and pains.
- Balance & Coordination. Every time you stand or sit, your neuromuscular system is at work, maintaining smooth, planned movements. Every time you stand, walk, sit, brush your teeth, cook a meal, or take care of your daily activities, you are testing your coordination between the muscular and nervous systems in your body. Your ability to care for yourself or your loved ones depends on your ability to balance and the coordination of your arms, legs, hands, and feet. That is why balance and coordination specific exercises are so important, especially after an injury or illness.
- Activity Specific Exercises. We understand how different each of our patients are, each having different hobbies, interests, jobs, and specific concerns. A golfer should not be given the same treatment plan as a baseball or tennis player. Likewise, if you spend most of your time at a desk or in your car, you will need treatment that is specific for you. Part of being a skilled physical therapist is providing individualized plans that are effective and efficient in returning our patients to the activities they love. Rest assured, your interests are important to us, and we will take the steps needed to reach your goals.
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. Yet when you treat pain with medication and rest, you are only allowing your muscles to weaken further. 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.
For more details contact our physical therapist at Allen, TX.