That’s why Physical Therapy is so much more than treating aches and pains.

Physical therapy is an obvious choice when you’ve sprained an ankle or developed tennis elbow, but what about when you need to boost your mood? Though highly skilled in methods that improve mobility and reduce pain following an injury, physical therapists can also play a key role in improving a patient’s mental health.

Exercise, a core component of any physical therapy regimen, is known to benefit patients with mild to moderate mood disorders such as depression. Depression is an underlying condition often associated with chronic illnesses and orthopedic injuries that limit mobility and participation in daily activities. With depression affecting one in 10 Americans at some point in their lives, physical therapy is another avenue to address any underlying problems that are contributing to depression.

Physical activity reduces feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress by improving the patient’s cognitive function and self-esteem. Moreover, studies have shown that aerobic exercise decreases overall tension levels, elevates and stabilizes mood and improves sleep. Because exercise’s mind-altering effects are temporary, however, patients can work with a physical therapist to develop a regular exercise routine to ensure continued benefits. Physical therapists develop a custom treatment plan based on a thorough assessment and detailed patient history.  Each individual plan includes some combination of flexibility, strength, coordination and balance exercises designed to achieve optimal physical function which leads to healthy, fulfilling and happy lives. In addition, physical therapists know their communities and can recommend exercise and fitness