What is Therapeutic Exercise?
Unlike a regular exercise program, which focuses on improving your general strength, aerobic endurance and general fitness, therapeutic exercise is more specific. Based on the findings from your physical therapy evaluation, therapeutic exercise usually focuses on:
- Fixing any muscular imbalance
- Progressively loading a muscle and tendon to help regenerate soft tissue restrictions and treat tendinitis through soft tissue remodeling
- Enhancing deep core stability and learning how to incorporate core stability into your functional everyday activities
- Improving muscle length and joint range of motion
- Specific exercises to enhance joint stability and overall mobility
Whether you have suffered an injury, experienced an illness or feel you have lost your physical abilities, therapeutic exercise can treat and prevent impairment and disability while improving your overall fitness.
Range of motion:
These exercises are aimed at increasing the range of motion of your joints and soft tissues. This is often done through exercising specific muscles while they are in a lengthened position as well as some active, passive or assisted stretches. These exercises are designed to help your joints move better and with less pain.
These specific resistance exercises are designed to improve power, endurance and strength of specific muscles important to maintaining proper balance and stability as well as bone and joint health.
In this day and age, we are inclined to spend hours bending over keyboards and smart phones and sitting for long hours with terrible posture. Research has shown that poor posture has a direct impact on muscle strength, balance and an inclination towards injury. Postural exercises are aimed at teaching you what correct posture feels like and how to enhance your postural awareness throughout the day. We also provide ergonomic recommendations for your home and office so you can ensure you are set up for success.
Balance & coordination:
Every joint and ligament in your body contains small nerve sensors that give your brain information about the position of your joints, a sensation called proprioception. Following any type of trauma to the joint, whether you’ve recently had surgery or suffered an ankle sprain, these nerve sensors get injured. We will prescribe specific balance and coordination exercises to retrain your joint proprioception and help you avoid further re-injury.
How does therapeutic exercise relieve pain?
Though it may seem counterintuitive to perform exercises when you are in pain, specific therapeutic exercises can actually help improve blood flow to the damaged tissues, stimulate healing and give you an endorphin rush to decrease pain. Multiple studies have shown that tendons and muscles like movement, just not too much movement too fast. If you’ve experiencing pain and you’ve tried medication and rest, yet the pain does not go away, it likely won’t go away and might worsen until you’ve properly addressed the source of the problem.
Dr. Trinh is trained to evaluate your body’s function, strength, range of motion and pain level. She can create a customized plan of care that will address muscular weakness and imbalance, restore function to healing or surgically repaired joints, reduce your overall pain and help you return to the activities that matter most to you.