Dr. Adel Roujoula
Specialist Physical Therapist
Physical therapy usually involves natural methods, exercises, massages and equipment therapy to help rehabilitate patients who suffer from pain/inflammation or following an injury. Saying so, obesity is one of the main factors for increased pain and inflammation in joints. As physical therapists, we always advise patients to maintain a desired weight and low body fat percentage to ensure any medication/treatment/ therapy works at its best.
The sedentary life, unhealthy eating habits and less movement in day to day activities are few things that impact almost everyone battling the weight issue. As mentioned before, weight loss is key to a person’s wellbeing, it is also something that physical therapists specialize in and can help with. The negative impacts of obesity include high blood pressure and diabetes. Other movement related impacts may include, fatigue, limited flexibility, limited endurance, pain in joints and lower back and legs. Physical therapy has always considered the problem of obesity with seriousness. Although not always directly, physical therapy and related exercises can help with considerable weight loss.
Following the prescribed exercises with as much accuracy as possible and as frequently as prescribed is the first step. The exercises are not always intense, but they still burn calories and increase heart rate which aids fat loss. Performing exercises on the area apart form injury (in case of injury) also is essential. Some patients believe in no exercise while injured. This might add up the kilos. For example, if the pain is in the knee only, upper body can still be worked on, thus helping to burn calories. Swimming and movement/prescribed exercises in the water can also greatly benefit many patients.
Physical therapy involves patients performing basic stretching exercises along with more intense muscle strengthening exercises. Physiotherapy works to return the body to a healthy condition naturally and safely. Physical therapy is a maintenance therapy and also provides the body with the regular immunity to fight fat build-up and enhance weight loss. Definitely, it must be performed in combination with exercises and a balanced, calorie monitored diet, that can in turn promote weight loss along with healthier over all body movements.
Patients can lead a longer and happier life by just taking small, positive steps towards weight loss and physical therapy respects the natural processes in the body.