Many people assume that anyone participating in physical therapy treatments is recovering from a recent surgery. However, that is not always the case. Physical therapy provides a multitude of benefits for anyone wishing to restore their strength, endurance, flexibility, or stability. In fact, physical therapy is used as a treatment for any pain, injury, or ailment someone may be facing. Therapeutic exercise is a great way to restore function and live a pain-free life. For more information on how therapeutic exercise may benefit you, contact Washington Physical Therapy today!
What does therapeutic exercise do?
Exercise programs are aimed at improving health, so you can feel better than you did beforehand. Therapeutic exercise is similar in this way; however, it also implements targeted activities that are aimed at relieving pain and restoring you to your optimum level of physical function. Therapeutic exercise can also be used as a way to prevent additional impairment or disability when facing certain physical risks. There are a wide variety of therapeutic exercises and each one has a unique purpose. These include:
- Area-Specific Exercises. It's easy to think of exercise as something we do with our muscles, but exercise can also help our body's other systems. Area-specific exercises target breathing and circulation to help speed healing, improve blood flow, or lower stress on the body.
- Balance & Coordination Exercises. Every time you stand or sit, bones and muscles work in conjunction with one another to help you remain upright. 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 skeletal systems in your body. Your ability to care for yourself or your loved ones depends on your ability to balance and coordinate 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 keep your balance or lose your coordination, you lose the ability to care for yourself.
- Muscle Performance Exercises. Increasing power, endurance, and muscle strength are vital to good balance and stability, as well as bone and joint health. Resistance and endurance exercises are designed to increase muscle strength without injury.
- Range of Motion Exercises. 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.
- Posture Exercises. Hours spent at desks, bending over keyboards, poor muscle tone, or simply poor posture habits can all lead to pain or injury. What you may not realize is that posture has a direct impact on muscle strength, balance, and risk of injury. Posture exercises are aimed at correcting poor posture, not just when you exercise, but also in your daily life activities to alleviate aches and pains.
- Relaxation Exercises. 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 coming back for more exercise!
Relieving pain with therapeutic exercise:
It is a common misconception that one should constantly rest when they are in pain. However, this can actually cause your muscles to weaken during the healing process, which can lead to decreased functionality and more pain in the long run.
Our Kirkland, WA physical therapists are movement experts, trained in improving strength, range of motion, and overall function of the body. Our physical therapist will design an individualized treatment plan for you equipped with the therapeutic exercises you need to alleviate your pain, strengthen the weak areas of your body, promote the healing process, and restore function. At Washington Physical Therapy, our goal is to help you live a pain-free life with even greater strength and endurance than you had before. Give us a call at (425) 820-2110 or schedule your appointment today to find out how therapeutic exercise can help you reach your physical goals and allow you to live the life you want!