Top Ways Physical Therapy Impacts Mental Health

Updated on January 29, 2021
Top Ways Physical Therapy Impacts Mental Health

Physical therapy is a hands-on approach to bettering the bodily conditions of patients. From surgery recovery to chronic pain, there are numerous reasons people seek physical therapists.

Personalized exercise routines are created to best suit each patient’s needs. Patients should establish positive communication with their PT instructor, hence the importance of choosing the right physical therapist. Though improving physical function is a therapist’s main focus, there are top ways physical therapy impacts mental health, too.

Exercise in Physical Therapy

Physical therapists establish workout regimens with their patients to hone certain areas of the body. Because of the wide range of people and reasons people attend physical therapy, there are multiple types of physical therapy. Each type caters to either an age group or body section. Different therapy categories include:

  • Neurological
  • Cardiovascular
  • Geriatric
  • Pediatric
  • Orthopedic

Physical therapy exercises are specific to various regions of the body. They aim to enhance a patient’s strength, reflexes, and flexibility where pain or soreness lies. PT intends to gain physical independence for patients, which often results in a mental improvement, too.

Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

There are proven mental health benefits to working out. Of the top ways physical therapy impacts mental health, its implementation of exercise is the most significant. Regular movement, a core element of physical therapy, contributes to mental wellbeing by:

  • Reducing stress, anxiety, and depression through the release of endorphins
  • Improving sleep quality
  • Enhancing cognitive function and awareness
  • Boosting mood and regular energy levels

Other Ways PT Can Improve Mental Health

A popular reason why patients seek a PT professional is to regain physical independence. Whether a physical ailment derived from an accident or aging doesn’t matter, but the medical treatment for it does.

An aspect of PT that can positively influence a patient’s mental health is tracking progress. Physical therapists monitor their patient’s achievements at each PT session. A strict regimen gives a patient something to work towards while the results foster feelings of confidence and triumph.