Therapeutic exercise refers to a range of physical activities that helps restore and build physical strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, and stability. The goal of therapeutic exercise is returning an injured person to a pain-free, fully functioning state. Therapeutic exercise is managed by a trained physical therapist. Therapeutic exercise programs are carefully monitored and emphasize slow progression. The physical therapist will initially assist the patient with some physical movements, if warranted, and will continuously modify the treatment plan according to the patient’s progress.
What differentiates a therapeutic exercise program from other exercise programs? With therapeutic exercise, the physical therapist uses his or her specialized expertise and experience, combined with the latest evidence-based research in rehabilitation, to design an individualized program that includes exercises that are specific to each patient’s injury, ability, and stage of recovery.
The first goal of any therapeutic exercise plan is to reduce pain and inflammation. Next, the goal may shift to regaining range of motion, rebuilding muscle strength, and developing endurance. Therapeutic exercise includes activities to improve physical function and alleviate impairment by improving range of motion, muscle coordination, motor learning, breathing, and posture. An exercise program is specifically designed for the patient and modified accordingly.
Therapeutic exercises are classified according to the aim and purpose of the exercises into many types:
At XCEL A.R.T., Michael will determine the type of exercises that you need to regain the level of activity that you were accustomed to prior to your injury. He will also prescribe exercises that meet your short term as well as long term goals.