What is therapeutic exercise?

When you’re hurting, the last thing you want to do is move around a lot and risk causing yourself more pain. It’s tempting to use only medication and rest to treat your pain, but this will only exacerbate your problem as the supporting muscles weaken, lose functionality, and cause everything to hurt more. That’s why therapeutic exercises were developed. Therapeutic exercises are physical exercises or movements that are designed to:

From the time physical therapy emerged as a profession, therapeutic exercise has been a key component in treatment to improve function, elevate performance, and relieve painful conditions. Whether you are being treated for a specific injury or a chronic condition, therapeutic exercises will likely be prescribed by your physical therapist as a fundamental part of your treatment plan.

What are examples of therapeutic exercises?

Therapeutic exercise can include a wide variety of exercises, which generally fall into the following categories: Flexibility, Balance and Coordination, and Strength and Endurance. The type of exercises included in a treatment would depend on the patient’s stage of healing, physical limitations, and pain levels, and will change over the course of treatment.



If you’ve lost some mobility in your arms or legs, flexibility exercises–gentle stretches and small movements targeting very specific muscle groups– will help your joints move better and without pain. A combination of active, passive, and assisted stretching activities will increase your range of motion and mobilization.

Flexibility targeted therapeutic exercises can:

- Maintain health of cartilage and other structures within joints

- Decrease muscle fatigue and related injuries

- Lessen stress on structures and tissues throughout the body

- Increase range of motion and ability to perform daily tasks

Balance and Coordination

Balance and coordination are skills often taken for granted, but when impacted by an injury or illness, the loss is startling. Your bones and muscles are constantly working together to help you remain upright and perform your daily tasks. If that working relationship is disrupted, you lose the ability to care for yourself. That’s why therapeutic exercises focused on maintaining your center of gravity and strengthening your balance and posture are such important tools.

Balance training therapeutic exercises can help to:

- Improve posture

- Increase walking speed

- Enhance performance of daily tasks

- Prevent falls an injury

Strength and Endurance

If you’ve been laid up by an accident or surgery, chances are your muscles have lost some power. Strengthening and endurance building therapeutic exercises are designed to engage your large muscle groups without the risk of injury. The goal of these exercises are to make the activities of daily living less physically stressful and to manage or prevent chronic diseases and health conditions.

Strength and Endurance therapeutic exercises will:

- Reduce the incidence and severity of sport injuries

- Enhance sporting technique and overall performance

- Improve mobility and motor skills for activities of daily life

- Support bone health, connective tissue function, and mental health

The benefits of these therapeutic exercises are clear. With the guidance of the Accelerate Health team, you can learn the best exercises in flexibility, balance and coordination, and strength and endurance to meet your body’s needs.

Who might benefit from therapeutic exercise?

Whether you’re recovering from an injury or surgery, an athlete looking to improve your performance, or having any sort of issue with your musculoskeletal functions, therapeutic exercises can work for you. They’ve proven beneficial to people who are:

Recovering from sports-related injuries

Managing lung and heart disease

Recovering from the effects of a stroke

Experiencing joint pain and muscle aches

Struggling with balance related issues

Seeking relaxation for tight muscles

When done correctly as prescribed by a physical therapist, therapeutic exercise can offer remarkable benefits and get you back to your healthy, active lifestyle.

How can you get started with therapeutic exercise?

At Accelerate Health Denver, we are ready to use therapeutic exercise to help you return to your active, healthy lifestyle. Make an appointment today, where we will:

  • Listen to your story and your body so we can understand what’s happening and how we can help.
  • Plan customized treatment tailored to your specific needs.
  • Partner with you to help and support your recovery here and at home so you can get and stay well.

Therapeutic exercise is an essential tool to restore function to healing joints, strengthen weak areas, and reduce your pain levels. Are you ready to experience life pain-free, with the help of therapeutic exercise?