A Guide on Physical Therapy Exercises

If you are referred to a physical therapist after a severe illness or injury, there is a big chance that you will have a lot of inquiries about what happens in their clinic. A lot of people visit physical therapists because these people are experiencing difficulty or pain in their normal mobility. These professionals may prescribe exercises and treatments to help people feel and move a lot better. One of the ways to help improve overall mobility is by using activities designed by professional physical therapists. 

Therapeutic exercises need to be one of the primary treatments people receive from these professionals. It does not matter if people are in the nursing home, outpatient orthopedic clinics, hospitals, or schools. These experts are movement professionals, and exercises should be their primary tool to get their clients to move and feel better. 

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When therapists prescribe patients to do some activities, they need to consider specific mobility techniques to help their body change or grow in positive ways. These activities are designed for specific conditions and are an essential part of the patient’s rehabilitation program. 

Should a particular physical task be the only way the patient will be treated during the therapy session? Not necessary, because these professionals use other methods like joint mobilizations, massages, or modalities like electrical or ultrasound stimulation. 

It can help patients move and feel a lot better. While passive treatment methods may feel good, it should not be the only way they get treated when undergoing physical therapy sessions. There should be active components of the patient’s rehabilitation program, including different therapeutic PT exercises.

Types of PT exercises

Different kinds of PT activities may be prescribed for people with problems depending on their specific conditions. These drills may include:

Training to help improve strength

Training to help improve ROM or Range of Motion

Flexibility training

Proprioception and balance training

Functional mobility training

Cardiorespiratory activities

Drills for dizziness and vertigo

PT programs need to be tailored to their client’s specific needs. For instance, if a client is struggling when doing a simple walk after a knee replacement surgery, their therapist may assess their quadriceps function, as well as prescribed drills and training methods to improve the power and strength of certain muscle groups. PTs may use pieces of equipment or certain tools for these types of exercises. It may include:

Foam rollers

Therapy balls

Straps and towels

Resistance bands

Dumbbells and free weights

Wobble boards and balance

Bikes, upper body bikes, or treadmills


The use of these types of equipment depends on the specific training methods clients are doing, as well as the goals of these drills. Sometimes, no specific equipment is needed for the patient’s PT session. Drills are typically done in PT clinics, but they can also be done in hospitals while patients are lying in their beds or sitting up in hospital chairs. 

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The professional may visit their patients in the hospital and work with them in improving their functional mobility like climbing stairs or moving in bed, so they can go home. One element of this drill may be to complete the session. 

They can also prescribe exercises to their clients as part of their home program. This type of plan can help them improve their condition while they are not in the PT clinic, giving clients control over their illness or injury. These professionals can also show their clients a training regimen that can be used to prevent future issues or problems from occurring.

Choosing the best training regimen

So how do patients know which physical therapy exercises are suited for a specific problem? The best way to know that patients are doing the right drills is to visit a professional for a couple of sessions. These professionals can assess patient conditions and recommend the correct drills for the clients to be doing. Naturally, people can expect some soreness from doing a new regimen that the body may not be used to. 

The delayed onset of muscle soreness, or DOMS, usually lasts a few days after doing drills. But the prescribed regimen should not make the patient condition a lot worse. If the regime causes the condition to worsen, stop it immediately and check in with the professional. 

Patients may not be doing the drills the right way, or they may only need to find alternative activities to do for their condition. A lot of these regimens that are prescribed by physical therapists are designed to help patients feel a lot better. When performing them, you should feel like the pain is changing or improving positively.