Our increasingly sedentary lifestyle leaves us at risk for many chronic health conditions such as back pain, arthritis, low bone density, loss of balance and coordination, fatigue, poor sleep and cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, incontinence, some cancers and lower mental health. Exercise rehabilitation can help.
There is strong evidence that engaging in regular exercise and physical activity can help all these conditions and many more. In fact, exercise is one of the only treatments that is consistently recommended across multiple clinical guidelines for many health conditions.
However, moving and exercising can exacerbate the symptoms of many of these conditions, creating a barrier to engage in physical activity.
At Body Logic Physiotherapy we work with you to build a program tailored to your condition, needs, goals and lifestyle.
The physiotherapists at Body Logic Physiotherapy can help you to:
- Understand your condition
- Identify the barriers for you to engage in movement and physical activity
- Identify the right type and dose of exercise to suit you
- Build your program gradually to enable you to reach your goals
- Provide strategies in line with the latest research evidence to improve your health
When is exercise rehabilitation needed?
Exercise and physical activity are one of the most important things a person can do for their health. Exercise rehabilitation is beneficial for people that are deconditioned following an injury, disuse or due to a sedentary lifestyle, or when pain is provoked by, or acts a barrier for people to engage in normal movement, activities of daily living, work and or physical activity.
Pain is a common barrier for people to engage in physical activity, be active, return to work, or simply feel safe to move in everyday life. This can result in people losing confidence to engage in pain provoking activities, impacting on their ability to do the things in life that they value. For many people with pain, exercise and movement can become scary, leading to activity avoidance. However, research tells us that avoidance of movement and activity can make us weak, vulnerable and disabled, while regular exercise helps to reduce pain, disability, pain recurrence and is important for the health of the muscles, joints, nerves and spine.
Furthermore, exercise rehabilitation can also help people with incontinence, poor balance and coordination, chronic fatigue, low bone density and poor general and mental health problems.
What is exercise rehabilitation at Body Logic Physiotherapy?
Exercise rehabilitation at Body Logic Physiotherapy is not prescriptive. We know that each person with pain presents with different health concerns and needs, barriers and goals. Our interest is to understand these factors so we can design an exercise program specific to your needs.
You will first undergo a thorough and comprehensive interview to have a clear understanding of your health concerns, your needs and goals. We place importance on hearing your story and health experience in your own words. We want to understand your health problem and how it impacts on all aspects of your life so we can help you get back doing what you like. We will also ask you about your sleep, activity levels, your lifestyle and goals, so we can help you get healthy and get back doing things that are important to you. We will also ask you specific questions to ensure your problem isn’t caused by serious health problems.
Following this we will conduct a comprehensive examination. For example, if it is a pain problem, this will usually involve looking at where you hurt, how sensitive your body is to touch and movement, we will look at your ability to relax and move your body as well as assessing your strength and fitness if this is indicated. If it is a balance problem we will assess your strength, coordination and balance. Based on all the information from the examination we will explain to you in simple language the factors that are contributing to your pain, and discuss the best exercise rehabilitation options available to you.
We are interested in coaching patients to develop confidence to exercise and engage in regular physical activity, work and activities of daily living, empowering them to achieve their goals. This process can be done as a program that you do at home. We also have an exercise rehabilitation studio where we supervise people in either a group environment or in an individualised (one-on-one) manner. In both situations the physiotherapist will help you develop an understanding of how to adjust the level and type of exercise based on the response, and how to respond to any symptoms provocation during or after the exercise. We will graduate your exercises so they are safe and tolerable for you. We will also make them simple and relevant to your condition. Having a clear plan and awareness of your body during exercise is key for developing confidence to exercise on their own.
Exercise is like a drug – getting the right dose for the right person is important. We rely on your help and feedback to determine the right dose for you.
What health conditions benefit from exercise rehabilitation?
There are several health conditions that benefit from exercise rehabilitation such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, poor balance, diabetes, chronic fatigue, mental health, pelvic health (e.g. endometriosis, incontinence, prolapse), and pain conditions.
Nearly all pain problems can benefit from exercise rehabilitation. These include back pain, neck pain, pelvic pain, joint pain, arthritis, muscle and tendon pain and fibromyalgia. We take the view that the only pain problem that benefits from relative rest is a broken bone or acutely damaged structure. Graduated movement of pain sensitive structures is important for their health. Exercise has been shown to relieve pain and increase function in all muscle, joint, spine and nerve pain conditions (both acute or chronic). Current research shows that even acute sprains and strains recover faster with the right kind of graded exercise.
Can exercise make pain worse?
While exercise may result in an increase in symptoms such as pain or fatigue in the short term (for example with joint arthritis, nerve pain or fibromyalgia) – it is important to understand that it is not harmful or dangerous. Some pain conditions are related to high levels of tissue sensitivity resulting in pain responses to low levels of movement and activity. In these situations, it’s important that we determine the right dose of exercise for you and slowly build this up.
Exercise is not always about making your muscles work harder. For many conditions such as chronic pain, mental and pelvic health, exercises may involve learning how to relax your muscles and improve your mobility.
What kind of exercise rehabilitation is best?
There are different approaches to exercise that we tailor to your individual needs. Research shows that learning to build confidence to control the way you move, load and strengthen the body is important for treating pain problems. Engaging in regular physical activity for cardiovascular fitness is also important for both general health and pain.
Some examples include:
For people with pain problems, relaxation, movement control, graduated strengthening and cardiovascular exercises are all known to be beneficial.
For people with pain and high levels of muscle tension and loss of mobility, relaxation and gentle mobility exercises are beneficial.
For people with low bone density or osteoporosis, graduated loading exercises are beneficial to build bone health.
For people with coordination or balance problems, weight bearing exercises that strengthen, build confidence to load and gradually challenge their balance in a safe way is effective.
For people with pain who have lost strength and confidence to engage in activities, graduated loading and strengthening exercises are beneficial.
For people who have low fitness and conditioning, exercise that increases your heart rate and build whole body conditioning is beneficial.
How long does it take for exercise rehabilitation to help?
This is variable. For some people, noticeable benefits may be very quick (within a week) while for others it may take 4-6 weeks before a benefit is noticed. Your physiotherapist will be able to guide you on this. Sometimes it takes a while before the benefits become apparent so we will encourage you to “hang in there” while we support you through this process. However, engaging in regular physical activity is something we encourage for everyone for their life time.
What dose of physical activity is best?
The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week to stay healthy.
What is the evidence for exercise and physical activity?
Physical activity is key in the prevention of at least 35 chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Exercise rehabilitation is a specific type of physical activity prescribed for specific therapeutic goals. Research supports the use of exercise rehabilitation as a safe treatment of at least 26 chronic conditions, such as back pain, hip and knee osteoarthritis and tendon pain. For many conditions, exercise rehabilitation can reduce the need for potentially harmful and costly interventions such as injections and surgery.
What are the benefits of regular exercise?
Regular exercise when delivered in the adequate dose and duration can have the following benefits:
- Increases confidence in your body
- Reduces pain
- Reduces disability
- Reduces the need for medication and in many cases surgery
- Reduces inflammation in the body
- Improves surgical outcomes
- Relaxes the muscles and increases natural pain killers to help control pain
- Increases muscle strength, flexibility, endurance and stamina
- Helps with weight control
- Helps to improve sleep quality
- Reduces fatigue, tiredness and increases energy levels
- Reduces stress, depression and anxiety, all of which can aggravate pain and tension
- Strengthens your immune system and overall general health
- It also positively impacts on a person’s balance, bone health, immune system, cardio-vascular system and mental health.
That’s why they call it the ‘poly-pill’ as it has so many benefits and no serious side effects if it is dosed just right.
What exercise rehabilitation programs are run at Body Logic Physiotherapy?
At Body Logic Physiotherapy we have a fully-equipped Exercise Rehabilitation Studio (including cardio, strength and conditioning, and Pilates-based movement and exercise). Physiotherapists at Body Logic Physiotherapy are skilled in the diagnosis, identification and optimising of movement patterns through specifically tailored exercise programs. For instance, we provide one-on-one and group classes for:
- Rehabilitation for back and neck pain
- Rehabilitation for Osteoarthritis
- Rehabilitation before and after ACL injury or surgery
- Injury prevention programs such as prevention of ACL & sports injuries
- Rehabilitation post traumatic events such as motor vehicle accidents
- Rehabilitation for runners and dancers
- Exercise for children to improve confidence, movement skills and fitness
- Exercise programs for people with balance problems, bone health and general health
- Return to work rehabilitation programs coaching people on lifting
- Strength and Conditioning programs to assist manual workers or athletes return to their function
We also provide specialised classes for:
- Children’s classes
- Pelvic health
- Knee and hip pain (GLA:D program)
At Body Logic Physiotherapy we aim to coach people to get back in charge of their life.
To view our class timetable please click on the below links:
If you have not attended any of our exercise classes before please contact one of our friendly reception staff prior to booking online for further information Ph: 08 9381 7940
‘Why Lifting Weights Can Be So Potent For Ageing Well’ – Gretchen Reynolds discusses why older people should do weight training: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/20/well/move/lifting-weights-exercise-older-aging-muscles-psychology.html