The Importance of Exercise in Physical Rehabilitation

Having your life interrupted by an injury can be frustrating, especially when there is a long rehabilitation process involved. Adjusting to a new routine of medication, therapies and appointments can be stressful. However, with the guidance of your doctor and physical therapist, you can develop a healthy routine and experience a smoother recovery. Exercise plays a major role in recovery, providing many benefits. 

Strength 

An important aspect of your recovery is keeping your muscles strong, not only in the injured body part but in the rest of your body as well. Other parts may have to work harder to compensate for the injury, leading to muscle strain, aches and pains. For example, if you break your dominant arm, your non-dominant arm may become sore from overuse. Your physical therapist can give you physical rehabilitation exercises designed to strengthen your muscles and promote healing. 

Pain Relief 

When you begin doing exercise for rehabilitation and health, you may experience discomfort, especially if you were not physically active before you were injured. However, as you make progress in your rehabilitation, physical therapy can reduce your pain. Muscle weakness and stiffness cause pain and discomfort. By following the exercise routine prescribed by your physical therapist, you can improve strength and flexibility and experience less pain. 

Balance 

When you’re healing from an injury, the last thing you need is to slip and fall. Balance can be challenging, especially in the early phases of physical rehabilitation. You may be adjusting to using mobility aids or experiencing pain or weakness. Exercise can help you feel more balanced and steady on your feet so you can avoid a fall that would set back your recovery. 

Energy 

Living with the ongoing effects of an injury can be exhausting. Physical therapy and rehabilitation can be hard work, but they can help you feel more energetic. Physical activity improves heart and lung function, boosting your energy and improving your overall health. It can also help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly, so you can start each day feeling well-rested. 

Circulation 

Blood flow is essential to the healing process. Without an adequate blood supply, injuries take longer to heal. Movement improves circulation to the injured area, helping you heal faster. Your physical therapist can recommend exercises to improve blood flow and help the injury heal. 

Mental Health 

Being sick or injured can take a toll on a person’s mental and emotional wellbeing, but exercise can help. In addition to the physical benefits of exercise, it can give your mood a much-needed boost. Physical activity reduces the level of stress hormones in your body and stimulates the production of mood-elevating endorphins. 

Many of the physical effects of exercise, such as improved sleep and decreased pain, are beneficial for your mental health as well. Your confidence and happiness will likely improve as you see the benefits of your hard work. 

Independence 

When you are injured, you may find yourself relying on others for help with the daily tasks you’re accustomed to doing yourself. Although you are eager to regain your independence, it is important to be patient and proceed safely. Trying to do things unassisted before your body is ready can result in a fall or other accident, such as slipping in the shower. 

You and your medical team can discuss your goals for physical rehabilitation and work out a treatment plan that prioritises your independence. Improving strength, mobility and balance through exercise can help you resume activities safely. 

Socialisation 

Exercise doesn’t have to feel like work. It can be an enjoyable experience, especially if you have a friend to share it – within a COVID safe manner. Swimming, for example, is a low-impact activity that you can enjoy with others at a safe distance. When physical activity is fun, it is easier to adhere to a routine, and the social aspect is important to your emotional health. Your exercise routine can give you a reason to leave your house and spend time with other people, preventing isolation and loneliness. 

Rehabilitation can be a long, stressful process. However, you can improve your outcome by following the advice of your medical team and incorporating appropriate exercise into your daily routine. Vital Home Health Services offers resources to assist you in your recovery. If you or a loved one recently experienced an injury, reach out today to find out how Vital Home Health Services can help with rehabilitation.