What is exercise therapy? How will it help you recover?

What is exercise therapy? How will it help you recover?

No one likes being confined to the bed with an injury or pain caused by chronic ailments. But, when you are suffering from mobility constraints caused by an injury, you have to refrain from doing regular chores or any other strenuous physical activity. Exercise therapy is an alternative recovery therapy that works around your injury while indulging you in light exercises performed according to a predetermined design. The therapy has been proven to be beneficial physically as well as mentally for patients causing an overall improvement in health status.

What is exercise therapy?

Exercise therapy is a treatment technique which follows a regimen or plan of physical activities (of varying intensity) to reach some set health goals such as achieving motor functions in an injured part or reduction of pain. To relieve patients from injuries, exercise therapy is used as a mechanism to stimulate the injured part and forcing it towards favorable changes. Exercise therapy is a rather slow treatment therapy visible effects are observed only after 1-2 months of regular exercises as prescribed by the therapist.

How does it help recovery?

Our muscles, tendons and ligaments tend to get injured even while performing regular chores and not just because of strenuous activity. The location and severity of these injuries is what determines course of an individual patient’s treatment plan. The first step of exercise therapy involves a thorough assessment of a patient by a certified therapist or some with an educational background in exercise science, exercise physiology or other similar qualifications. The assessment is necessary for your therapist to determine your strength, range of motion and injury severity and depending on these factors he / she will assign exercises. Exercise therapy also reduces pain in the areas above and below the injury through various techniques such as neuro re-education, gait training and therapeutic activities. There is a general progression in the intensity of the exercises assigned to a patient depending on the progress made. Therapists tend to track results of their patients in order to quantify progress made towards achieving set health goals.

Other benefits

Exercise therapy has always been considered an important part of recovery process due to the positivity generated mentally. A study published in 2000 in Physical Activity and Psychological Well-being by Biddle S. J., Fox K. R. and Boutcher S. H. successfully establishes relationship between physical activity and clinical depression. The effect of exercise is examined on a control group using epidemiological evidence, evidence from meta-analytic reviews and different key studies. The study concludes that there is a positive effect of exercises of moderate intensity on the psychological well being of patients.

What conditions are treated with exercise therapy?

Rehabilitation from various musculoskeletal injuries or chronic conditions can be provided through exercise therapy. Most commonly treated injuries or conditions include lower back pain, neck aches and pain, postural issues, repetitive strain injuries, sports injuries, post-surgery rehabilitation, general deconditioning and injury from falls.

Exercise therapy has roots in exercise science and can increase restricted range of motion, reduction from medication and increased mental health.