Therapeutic exercise involves patient instruction of specific exercises to address weakness or loss of joint mobility due to disease or injury.
Several types of exercise can be included.
- Active exercises involve movement of a body part against gravity or with additional weight for resistance.
- Active-assisted exercise is movement of a body part with support from another part of the body. For example, using one arm to help lift the other, or with help from your therapist.
- Passive exercise relies on the therapist or another part of your body to lift the injured limb.
Therapeutic activities use everyday living tasks to improve range of motion and strength. For example, overhead shoulder movement can be strengthened by reaching up to place a weighted object on a shelf. This is a functional task that directly mimics real-life activity.
Therapeutic activities cover a broad range of functional tasks. Movements including pushing, pulling, squatting, bending, lifting, carrying, catching and throwing qualify as therapeutic activities.
Therapeutic exercises are often performed together therapeutic activities. After a hip fracture, for example, a person typically has difficulty lifting the injured leg. Therapeutic exercises are performed to strengthen the leg to enable the person to lift it up against gravity. As strength improves, weight is added to the leg to make the exercises more difficult.
Therapeutic activities are also performed to improve function. Sit to stand activities continue to improve leg strength while practicing a daily task.
Dr. Michael A. Coppola is a certified Therapeutic Exercise practitioner. When you’re ready to restore strength and function, call Dr. Coppola on 215-643-2250 to see if Therapeutic Exercise is right for you.