Therapeutic exercise - What is it?
Therapeutic exercise is building foundational strength in order to help our joints and body move in an optimal pattern in order to be as efficient as possible. This doesn’t mean we will be using the heaviest weight possible, but it does mean that we will challenge your body to build strength in order to perform functional activities such as reaching for a cup of coffee, ascending or descending stairs, or normalizing your walking pattern. Typically, each session will incorporate manual therapy and therapeutic exercise depending on what stage of recovery you are in. Eventually once it is appropriate to decrease the amount of manual therapy performed, we will increase exercises and provide you with a customized home exercise program that you feel comfortable performing at home in order to maintain the benefits achieved in therapy.
Some additional benefits to therapeutic exercise are:
1. Cardiovascular fitness
2. Balance and coordination
3. Pain relief
Exercise can help loosen muscles in a way that manual therapy sometimes cannot, which will in turn help us in the long run! The benefits of exercise are endless!
Why is it important?
Exercises induce “muscle hypertrophy,” or increasing strength, which will allow the muscles to help hold joints in a more optimal, stable position and help to relieve pain in and around the joints and muscles involved. This can help our bodies perform movements more efficiently, decrease pain, and increase strength and endurance in muscles that may be weak or lack activation. With the new mobility we will aim to achieve through manual therapy and exercise, our bodies will be able to perform exercises with better form and target weak muscles easier than if we were experiencing limited range of motion. Each program is an individualized exercise program based on current injury stage and individual needs and provide guidance and instruction how to best perform each movement. Eventually you will have the tools you need to perform each exercise and exercise program independently and confidently at home!
Does this mean I will get “bulky”?
Not everyone has the goals to become a pro weightlifter, but even if they did, we wouldn’t be focusing on that in physical therapy. In physical therapy we focus on what muscles need strengthening in order to increase stability, proprioception or overall strength in areas that may be lacking strength. That’s why physical therapy is so beneficial because we focus on what your body needs versus just an overall strengthening program (but that is an added bonus!). Once we can target the areas we need to strengthen, we can carry that over into performing bigger movements and therapeutic activities physical therapy that you may be struggling with to perform. This can be moving or lifting boxes, carrying your grandkids, or even brushing your hair.
How can HIDEF help?
At HIDEF, we provide a very personalized approach to each patient we see. Everyone will receive a custom home exercise program to perform at home as well as important exercise that we will work through together in the clinic. We believe in a “team” approach meaning we love working alongside each patient through the exercises and don’t just give you a printout of exercises and then send you on your way. We have the same goals you do; get back to doing the activities you miss or couldn’t do before!
So whether it is to help improve posture to help with neck pain, get back to a sport and therapeutic activities physical therapy Bellevue you love, or improve balance and coordination, therapeutic exercise will help restore lost function, increase strength, and improve quality of life!