An Overview of Exercise Therapy: What Is It?

Many patients are benefitting from exercise therapy. This form of physical therapy improves function while healing. But what is it? Read this overview.

Keyword(s): exercise therapy

16% of Americans use exercise therapy to improve their health and bodily function each year.

So what exactly is it?

In this article, we’ll go over what physical or exercise therapy is and how it can benefit you.

Relax, it isn’t some scary thing that only professional athletes use. People of all ages, including children and the elderly engage in exercise therapy. Nowadays, even pets sometimes partake in physical therapy at specialized centers and clinics.

Read on to learn some of the benefits associated with exercise therapy, and what exactly it can do for you.

What Is Exercise Therapy?

Exercise therapy is also sometimes referred to as physical therapy. Many people associate it with an injury. Doctors often prescribe physical therapy after a life-altering injury. But people opt for physical therapy for a variety of reasons.

Just as it sounds, exercise therapy is a form of therapy that involves exercise. It can be for a variety of problems and issues.

People may use physical therapy after an accident or injury. But, they may also use exercise therapy to strengthen muscles, strengthen the body as they age, adapt to a limb, help control the bladder or bowels, learn to use things like a wheelchair or cane, fix posture problems, rehabilitate after a surgery or illness, help relieve pain, or recover after birth or a variety of other issues.

Exercise therapy can be done in the water (hydrotherapy) or on dry land. Typically, your exercise therapy will be led by a doctor trained in biomechanics. You can also do some physical therapy on your own, depending on the condition. However, your doctor will likely start out with you to show you to use proper form.

Having a doctor to assist you is crucial. This is to prevent injury and to ensure you’re moving correctly.

In our clinic, exercise therapy is a part of every treatment plan. It is a necessary part of improving the structure and function of the human body.

What Can I Expect at an Exercise Therapy Session?

For your first session, your doctor will discuss your issue and provide a thorough examination. If you were referred by another doctor, he or she will review his or her notes. The doctor leading your exercise therapy will then decide on where to go from there.

He or she may give you tests to see how well you function after your illness or injury. He or she may assess your ability to perform everyday tasks.

You will likely start out with a few exercises on your first day. These exercises will likely be to assess your strength and where you need to get to. Your exercise therapist will help work out a plan for your therapy.

He or she will give you a treatment plan to show how many times he or she will need to see you throughout your recovery. This may end up changing depending on how well you are progressing or NOT progressing.

He or she may give you tools (such as resistance bands) to help with your therapy. He or she may also give you written directives or handouts on how to move your body in order to get the results you want or need.

Is Exercise Therapy Painful?

In films and TV, physical therapy is often portrayed as very painful. For some people, this may be the case. It simply depends on your tolerance for pain and what you are using exercise therapy for.

In some cases, exercise therapy is completely painless and you’ll just be strengthening your muscles. Strengthening your muscles should not hurt, but will sometimes cause mild discomfort. This is similar to the discomfort you may feel when pushing yourself at the gym or exercising on your own.

Some people may find exercise therapy painful, particularly if they are rehabilitating an injury. Often, this may be the case when learning to walk with an artificial limb. However, your doctor should know your limits.

He or she will be able to let you know when to push through the pain and when the pain is not appropriate for the exercise you are doing. His or her expertise is crucial at this moment, as he or she understands when an injury is likely to be caused or when they are helping you heal from an injury.

How Can Exercise Therapy Benefit Me?

If you have a chronic disorder or disease that may benefit from exercise therapy, your doctor will likely advise you on specific types of exercise. He or she may even write you a referral if necessary.

A great benefit of having a structural chiropractor leading your care is that you do NOT need a referral to see them. You may feel that your everyday life could be improved or that you could cut down on some of your pain in a natural way.

Exercise therapy offers a wide range of benefits. Most people request to see an exercise therapist to reduce pain in their everyday lives. Using a structural chiropractor to improve your body function often involves multiple exercises both in and out of the office.

What Kind of Exercise Therapy Exists?

There are many different types of exercise therapy, and your therapist will know which to prescribe. Some physical therapy involves massage, heat therapy, cold therapy or ultrasound therapy. In our clinic, many of these services are sought from other local providers should they become necessary.

Other exercise therapy includes exercises to strengthen your body, stretches, practicing tasks with artificial limbs and practicing using walking or mobility aids.

Most physical therapy is done at a physical therapy center or clinic.

Should I Make an Appointment

Speak to your doctor if you think exercise therapy may be appropriate for you. He or she can evaluate whether exercise therapy will be beneficial to you in the long term.

Once you have decided to take the next step, you can contact our office to get the ball rolling. Good news is that you do not need a referral to consult our office, which is always complimentary.

For more information on all things structural and exercise therapy related, visit our blog.