What is therapeutic exercise?
Therapeutic exercise is what physiotherapists are most known for and exercise has the best scientific evidence supporting its use. Therapeutic exercise is physical movement with the intent to improve, restore or maintain the health of our bodily systems. Its effects are far reaching, so this could literally mean ANY bodily system.
Your physiotherapist may provide therapeutic exercises for many reasons. Physiotherapists tend to use therapeutic exercise as a staple treatment to correct musculoskeletal imbalances, restore movement, improve strength and decrease pain. Therapeutic exercise tends to provide the best long-term results compared to other treatment techniques. This is because exercise can produce more permanent adaptions to your tissues and improve the quality of movement in ways that passive treatments can’t. Movement quality tends to be the underlying cause of many musculoskeletal health conditions. If you move better, the problem won’t happen in the first place!
For therapeutic exercise to work, you need to perform the correct exercises to the correct parameters. Your physiotherapist is an expert at guiding these things!
How can therapeutic exercise help me?
Among many things therapeutic exercise may:
- Restore range of motion / movement
- Decrease and/or eliminate pain
- Prevent and/or restore loss of function
- Improve sense of well-being
- Enhance functional capabilities (activities of daily living & recreational activities)
- Decrease stress and anxiety
Therapeutic exercise has many positive effects on nearly all bodily systems and can be beneficial to those who are already in good health or who are suffering from chronic disease.
Are there risks to therapeutic exercise?
There are risks to therapeutic exercise and your physiotherapist will be aware of them. Depending on your medical history, precautions may need to be taken; however, the benefits of exercise generally outweigh the risks. Talk to your physiotherapist about any concerns that you may have!
This article is not intended to be a literature review. While some literature may be cited in some cases, this article should not be used as scientific-evidence of a treatment or service. Please contact your physiotherapist or other appropriate health care provider to better understand the scientific literature supporting or refuting the use of a particular treatment.