“If exercise could be packed in a pill, it would be the single most widely prescribed and beneficial medicine in the nation.”
-Robert Butler, National Institute on Aging
Exercise and proper movement are key to heal from injury. The body is programmed to heal, but sometimes it takes a long time or doesn’t seem to be healing. Finding gentle ways to move the injured tissue and joints in the right way will bring the oxygen and nutrients that the muscles need to heal.
Imagine a dirty hand that is clenched in a tight fist and then submersed in water. Even if the hand was moved back and forth through the water, the palm of the hand would have a hard time getting clean. In much the same way, tense or spasming muscles restrict blood flow, which deprives the tissues of much-needed oxygen and nutrients to help it heal.
While the right movements and exercises can help speed healing, the wrong exercises and stretches can keep the tissues inflamed for months and years. Even if you are doing the correct exercises, you could be doing too much. It is possible to get too much a good thing. One piece of chocolate cream pie is delightful but eating the whole pie can make you sick.
Therapeutic exercise is exercise that is prescribed at a specific level of intensity and frequency that targets the injured tissues and encourages tissue healing.
What types of therapeutic exercises will I be doing during therapy?
To put your mind at ease, you will NOT be asked to run on a treadmill, lift huge dumbbells, or perform any type of difficult and fast pace exercises that would potentially make you worse. Most exercises are simple exercises that can be done on the floor or bed. You control the movement and speed of the exercises. The goal of therapeutic exercise is to help your muscles relax and decrease your pain.