Physical therapy exercises can help reduce pain and discomfort or eliminate it altogether. Considering each individual and their circumstances are different, physical therapy exercises vary. Whether it’s physical therapy for hip pain or physical therapy for knee pain, the exercises will encompass techniques that will help reduce pain and improve overall well-being.
Common physical therapy exercises include:
- Aerobic exercise is used to condition your heart and other muscles, maintain health, and speed recovery. Aerobic exercises-such as walking, swimming, or running help you maintain a healthy body. This form of exercise makes your heart and other muscles use oxygen more efficiently, and muscles that frequently receive oxygen-rich blood stay healthier and heal faster.
- Strengthening exercises focus on increasing muscle strength, which is often a priority when you are recovering from an injury or dealing with acute pain. By improving the strength and control of your body, the muscular imbalances will be restored and the pain associated will be relieved.
- Stretching exercises help keep your muscles and other supporting tissues flexible and less prone to injury. Stretching also improves your circulation, maintains better posture, relieves stress and enhances coordination. By incorporating this activity into your daily routine, you will likely heal quicker and stay healthier longer.
- Balancing exercises help stabilize the body and reduce the risk of falls. Enhancing balance can improve performance in many daily activities and help build lower extremity (leg) muscle strength.
- Endurance exercises include any activity that increases your heart rate and respiratory rate. This includes walking, running, biking, and many others. These activities help improve the health of your lungs, heart, and blood vessels. Endurance exercises can also delay or prevent many diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers.
Talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program, and only do exercises that do not increase your symptoms. The most effective exercise programs are designed specifically for you and are supervised. Even if a therapists recommends a certain program to be done on your own, they will often set up an appointment to track your progress and make sure everything looks good. Remember to talk to your doctor or physical therapist if you are unsure how to do certain exercises. If you do them improperly, you could risk causing further damage. Try to exercise a little every day, but stop immediately if it is causing any pain. Eventually you will be able to increase the duration and difficulty level of your exercise program once you get your body more conditioned. Physical therapy takes time, so be patient and let your body heal at its own pace.