Therapeutic Exercise Benefits
Therapeutic exercises are activities that are prescribed by the physician and are performed with the assistance and guidance of a physical therapist or a nurse. The ultimate goal of therapeutic exercises is to help and aid the patient or injured individual gain independence in functional activities and make the activity as much as possible comfortable and pain-free.
Benefits of Therapeutic Exercises
When correctly performed, therapeutic exercises will have the following outcomes:
- Improve or maintain muscle strength. It is only through the execution of these exercises that muscle strength is built and reinforced.
- Enhancing joint function.
- Helps in preventing deformities.
- Assists in stimulating blood circulation.
- Developing a person’s endurance.
- Promoting relaxation.
- Helping to restore motivation and well-being of the patient
Factors Affecting the Adherence to Therapeutic Program
A therapeutic exercise program is beneficial to the patient. However, some individuals do not adhere to the program. The following are some of the identified factors that affect the performance of therapeutic exercise:
- Lack of knowledge about the exercise program
- Lack of Skill. Explaining and demonstrating the methods or techniques of exercise execution may be helpful in assuring adherence to the exercise program. Though the patient may indicate familiarity with the exercise, the technique execution might be wrong. An exercise is ineffective if done incorrectly. Thus, it is ideal to demonstrate the techniques and skill to the patient beforehand and let the patient perform the complete set of exercise while watching to correct improper technique execution. Correcting errors can be easily provided by positive reinforcement and suggestions.
- Lack of Risk Taking Ability. An individual’s fear of feeling increased pain, discomfort or possible reinjury sometimes limits the individual’s motivation to exert full effort and thus it prevents the patient from sticking to the therapeutic exercise program. Emotions are one factor that may motivate or block the individual to deal successfully with the challenges of the exercise program. Nurses should provide constant positive feedback to deal with this.
- Lack of Social support. When an individual feels alone or isolated, he or she might lose the motivation to meet the challenges of the exercise program. Assuring and acknowledging that value of a patient in an activity and encouraging socialization are the key steps in handling this problem.
- Confidence. One of the most essential factors that affect the completion of the exercise program is the confidence of the person. Timely recovery will be delayed when a person has low confidence because focus is interfered with negative thoughts.
- Motivation. The greatest influence in the completion of the exercise program is based on how motivated an individual is. Low motivation results to the following:
- Low effort and intensity
- Poor attention
- Lack of attentiveness to instructions
- Undefined goals
- Insupportable excuses to avoid the exercise program