If you have been suggested over to physical therapy after an injury or an illness, then you may have questions about what will actually happen during the process of physical therapy. Most individuals visit a physical therapist because they are experiencing pain or a hard time with day to day functional mobility.
Your local Palmdale Physical Therapist may prescribe treatments and exercises to help you move better and feel better. One of the best ways to improve your overall mobility is with physical therapy exercises.
Therapeutic exercise should be one of the main treatments you receive from your physical therapist. It doesn’t matter if you are in a hospital, nursing home, school, or an outpatient orthopedic clinic. Physical therapists are movement experts, and exercise should be the primary tool your PT uses to get you moving better and feeling better.
When your Palmdale Physical Therapist gives you exercises to do on a routine basis, they should be thought of as specific movement strategies to assist your body change and grow in a positive way. The exercises you do in physical therapy are designed for your specific condition and are an essential part of your rehab program.
Should exercise be the only treatment you receive in physical therapy?
Not necessarily. Some physical therapists use other techniques such as massage, joint mobilizations, or modalities — like ultrasound or electrical stimulation — to assist their patients in moving better and feeling better as well. While passive treatments may feel good, they should not be the only treatment you get in physical therapy.
There should always be an active component to your rehab program which includes an assortment of therapeutic physical therapy exercises.
Types of Physical Therapy Exercises
There are a handful of physical therapy exercises that may be prescribed for you depending on your specific condition. These exercises may include:
- exercises to improve strength
- exercises to improve range of motion
- flexibility exercises
- balance and proprioception exercises
- functional mobility exercises
- cardiorespiratory exercises
- exercises for vertigo and dizziness
A physical therapy exercise program should be focused on your specific needs. Take for example; if you are having a hard time walking after a total knee replacement surgery, your physical therapist may look over your quadriceps function and prescribe specific exercises to aid in improving the strength of this muscle group.
In addition, your Palmdale Physical Therapist may use specific tools and pieces of equipment for your physical therapy exercises. These may include:
- foam rollers
- resistance bands
- therapy balls
- free weights and dumbbells
- treadmills, bikes, or an upper body bike
- balance and wobble boards
- towels and straps
The type of equipment you use depends upon the specific exercises you are doing and the goals of each exercise. Sometimes, no special equipment is necessary for your PT exercise.
Exercises are typically done in the physical therapy clinic, but they can also be done in the hospital while you are lying in bed or sitting up in a chair.
Your physical therapist may visit you in the hospital and work on improving functional mobility—like moving in bed or climbing stairs—so you can safely go home. One component of this in-hospital rehab program may be to complete physical therapy exercises.
Your physical therapist may also prescribe exercises for you to do as part of a home exercise program. This program can help you improve your condition while you are not in the Physical Therapy clinic, giving you control over your injury or illness.
Your Palmdale Physical Therapist can also show you exercises that can be used to prevent future problems from occurring.
Choosing the Best Exercises for You
So how do you know which physical therapy exercises are best for your specific condition? The best way to know that you are doing the right exercise for you is to visit with your physical therapist for a few sessions. Usually, your physical therapist can assess your condition and prescribe the right exercises for you to be doing.
Naturally, you can expect a little soreness from doing new exercises that your body may not be accustomed to. Delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, typically lasts a few days after starting exercise.
But the exercises your Palmdale Physical Therapist gives you should not make your condition that much worse. If exercising causes your condition to worsen, stop the exercises and check in with your physical therapist.
You may be doing your exercise improperly, or you may simply need to find an alternative exercise to do for your condition.
A variety of exercises that are prescribed by your physical therapist are designed to help you feel better. When performing your physical therapy exercises, you should feel like your pain is improving or changing in a positive way.
Getting Started With Your Physical Therapy Exercises
Getting going with physical therapy exercises is pretty simple. If you have an injury or an illness that causes pain or prevents you from moving normally, visit your doctor and ask to be referred to a local Palmdale Physical Therapist.
Choosing physical therapy first—before medication or surgery—is a good idea, as Physical Therapy generally tends to be a safe and value-packed model of care for many conditions.
When you first meet your physical therapist, ask about different exercises that you can do to help your condition. Your local Palmdale Physical Therapist should be able to have an extensive amount of knowledge on proper exercise techniques, and he or she can prescribe exercises that can help you improve your mobility and decrease your pain.
Think of your local Palmdale Physical Therapist as an expert guide who can teach you the proper exercises for your specific condition. He or she can help you, but it’s up to you to take the first step and commit to performing your actual Physical Therapy exercises.