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Therapeutic Exercise

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Therapeutic exercise is the prescription of bodily movement to correct an impairment, improve musculoskeletal function and maintain a state of well-being. It may vary from highly selected activities restricted to specific muscles or parts of the body, to general and vigorous activities that can return a convalescing patient to the peak of physical condition.

Therapeutic exercise seeks to accomplish the following goals:

  • Enable ambulation
  • Release tight muscles, tendons, and fascia
  • Mobilize joints
  • Improve circulation
  • Improve respiratory capacity
  • Improve coordination
  • Reduce rigidity
  • Improve balance
  • Promote relaxation
  • Improve muscle strength and, if possible, achieve and maintain maximal voluntary contractile force (MVC)
  • Improve exercise performance and functional capacity (endurance)
The last two goals mirror an individual's overall physical fitness, a state characterized by good muscle strength combined with good endurance. No matter which types of exercise may be needed initially and are applied to remedy a patient's specific condition, the final goal of rehabilitation is to achieve, whenever possible, an optimal level of physical fitness by the end of the treatment regimen.

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