Each component of prescribed exercise is targeted specifically to change some parameter of function within your body. A parameter of function may be flexibility, range of motion, strength, muscular, or cardiovascular endurance.
Therapeutic Exercise is Prescribed Exercise
Therapeutic exercise is an essential component of most physical therapy programs – assisting patients in management and elimination of painful symptoms and restoring full function.
Some exercises are very easy, require little equipment, and can be done at the home or office, while others require expert supervision, instruction, and progression, in order to be effective. Those exercises that can be performed with minimal supervision and from written/illustrated instructions are usually assigned by a therapist to augment treatment performed at clinical appointments.
Basic Types of Therapeutic Exercise
Range of Motion – These are exercises that increase the available range of movement of a particular joint or joints. Ideally they should be performed as often as possible, in multiple sets of a high number of repetitions, and little or no resistance. For example, knee range of motion after surgery should be performed 3 sets of 10 repetitions, 5 or more times each day.
Strength Training – These are exercises that increase the available amount of strength in a muscle or muscle group. Strength training varies in repetitions and sets. To increase the amount of resistance a muscle can produce, a heavier weight should be used, performed in shorter sets, and less often. A body builder may perform a few sets of 7 repetitions of a heavy weight, making sure to take time off between strength training days. To increase the endurance of a muscle or muscle group, a lighter weight should be used, performed in longer sets, and more often. Many times in physical therapy, we work just to produce the correct contraction, then work on basic endurance, and lastly work to increase the amount of force that can be generated.
Flexibility Training – These are exercises that increase the resting length of a muscle, muscle group, or other tissue. They are initially performed much like range of motion exercises (especially if painful) and then progressed to stretch-and-hold, for time periods of 30-60 seconds. Flexibility exercises are most effective when performed at the end of a heavier activity, when the muscles to be stretched are warmed up.
During your physical therapy appointment, make sure that you know and understand what type of exercise you are performing and what each is expected to contribute toward your recovery.
At Terry Rehabilitation, each patient is expertly evaluated, each treatment plan is customized for that patient, and all treatment occurs with a highly trained professional.
Our rehabilitation programs include:
- Hands-on manual therapy techniques – to quickly correct loss of motion
- Supervised therapeutic exercises targeted to specific deficiencies
- Modalities such as cold packs, heat, and electrical stimulation to reduce pain, inflammation, and to increase flexibility
- Targeted home exercise programs that do not require special equipment
- Restoration of functional strength and stability for daily activities
- Work-specific or sport-specific rehabilitation
Contact us to schedule an initial evaluation. If physical therapy is recommended, we will contact your physician in writing regarding the recommended plan of care, allowing him or her to make the most informed decision possible for the care.