It is scientifically proven that exercise therapy (active rehabilitation) is one of the greatest rehabilitation method. Numerous studies consistently prove the indisputable benefits of exercise therapy. There are simply no other ways to improve muscular strength and endurance. There are a lot of other great rehabilitation methods. However, to optimize the outcome of the treatments, those need to be done in conjunction with exercise. Otherwise, the improvements become impeded or symptoms may reoccur. To make permanent changes and correct various imbalances in the body, atrophied muscles need to strengthen, posture needs to improve, and proper movement patterns must be learned.
Since it is one of the most common forms of injury, let me use the low back as an example. More than 90% of the people who have experienced low back pain will experience more episodes in their lifetime. If everyone with low back pain had proper active rehabilitation under the supervision of a qualified professional, that number would drop quite significantly. Low back injuries are often due to poor posture, dysfunctional movement pattern, or muscular weakness. Humans naturally favour spinal flexion over hip hinge to reach down to pick up things from the ground, because it requires less muscles to contract. However, spinal flexion with heavy loads put significant amount of stress on the intervertebral disc. Combine that with a hip tilt and atrophy of the stabilizer muscles, you have the perfect recipe for low back injury. Fortunately, these can be improved through exercises that are scientifically programmed to induce improvements in hypertrophy, muscular endurance and strength. Moreover, the tendons, bones and joints make adaptation to stimulus which results in improved range of motion, joint stability, and pain.
It is easy to just go in for therapy sessions where you just lie down and let the therapist do all the work for you. You will probably feel some relief but to make a permanent change, you must exercise. Often, immediately after each therapy sessions, people temporarily gain more range of motion. For this reason, it is usually a good time to exercise. In addition, the power of home exercises prescribed by physiotherapists or kinesiologists should never be underestimated. There are many health care providers that can help you get better, but it is the individual’s willingness to put in the effort and time that will make the real difference during rehabilitation.