Exercise therapy was known to be effective, since the father of medicine, Hippocrates, advocated the use of manual therapy for treatment for many physical discomforts in 460 BC. However, the exercise therapy gained more prominence after the breakout of the First World War. The soldiers and the people who were affected by war were treated by doctors who used physical therapy for broken bones, joint pains or even spinal problems. Additionally, during those days, exercise therapy was seen to be a very effective treatment against polio.
Physical therapy aims to help in the treatment and rehabilitation of the diseased individuals through a series of workout regimes along with muscle building exercises. Every patient is provided individual care depending on the kind of ailment afflicting him. Physical therapy works very well in combination with medications and allows for early recovery.
Sometimes, physical therapy can act as an alternative to surgery. It can also reduce your dependence on medications and improve your mobility and motility (APTA 2015). It can help you control your pain. Physical therapy is also useful if you have suffered sports-related injuries or strokes.
The conditions that can be treated with the help of exercises include arthritis, lower back pains, carpal tunnel syndrome, fractures or dislocation of bones, osteoporosis, sports injuries, strokes and traumatic injuries. Exercise also helps to improve your balance, posture, reduce pelvic pain, musculoskeletal disorders etc. Moreover, exercises help reduce weight, fight depression and anxiety, improve your mood and provide energy (Mayo Clinic, 2014).
While working out, avoid overdoing the exercises. Stop, if you notice shortness of breath, excessive fatigue, nausea or dizziness. Do not exercise if you are suffering from fevers. Stop your exercise and seek immediate medical attention if you notice palpitations or sudden chest pain.
You are likely to experience muscle soreness after exercising. Sometimes, over-exercising can lead to dizziness and nausea. Stop immediately and rest till the spell passes. Dehydration is one of the other side effects of exercises if you neglect to consume adequate liquids during your regime. You can also notice shortness of breath and side-stitches. Some other side effects of exercises include headaches, respiratory and even gastrointestinal discomfort.
Science & Research
Exercise therapy has proven to be very effective along with the chemotherapy treatment for cancer affected patients. Exercises improved the quality of life, reduced fatigue and increased physical mobility in these individuals (Jones and Alfano, 2013).
Additionally, in a randomized controlled trial conducted across various institutions in Netherlands, the researchers determined that exercises improved mental health and cardiovascular health amongst people suffering from schizophrenia and reduced the percentage of patients who needed constant care (Scheewe et al., 2013).
1. American Physical Therapist Association. 2015. Assessed on 8th Nov 2015 from: http://www.moveforwardpt.com/forhealthcareprofessionals/detail.aspx?cid=84dd875a-7789-4c82-b466-d858b966b128#.Vj8ei7crLIU
2. Jones LW, and Alfano CM. 2013. Exercise-oncology research: past, present, and future. Acta Oncologica, 52(2), 195-215.
3. Mayo Clinic. 2014. Assessed on 8th Nov 2015 from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389
4. Scheewe TW, Backx FJG, Takken T, Jörg F, Strater AV, Kroes AG, et.al. 2013. Exercise therapy improves mental and physical health in schizophrenia: a randomised controlled trial. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 127(6), 464-473.