There is no health without ‘mental health’…

There is no health without ‘mental health’…

May 22, 2021

As a physical therapist, my purpose is to help patients’ regain their range of motion, increase their strength and endurance, manage their pain, and improve their movement through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education. In striving toward these goals, I aspire to empower patients to positively engage in their own health in order to partake in their activities of daily living and maximize their quality of life; physically, emotionally, socially, and mentally.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I’d like to speak on the impact of physical activity on mental health. Poor physical health can lead to an increased risk of developing mental health issues and vice versa, poor mental health can negatively impact one’s physical health. Amidst these times, it is no surprise that the restrictions put in place over the past year to limit the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing, has increased the incidence of mental health problems. In a new report produced by the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), researchers found the number of adults with recent symptoms of anxiety or depression has increased from 36.4 to 41.5% between August 2020 and February 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During a year that has been met with many challenges and much uncertainty, I ask: can physical therapy care and/or exercise help improve mental health? 

Yes, yes it can. 

Some mental health benefits from regular exercise include, but are not limited to:

(1)   Improved quality of sleep

(2)   Increased self-esteem and self-confidence

(3)   Reduced stress, anxiety, and depression

(4)   Improvement in mood

(5)   Improved social interaction

(6)   Increased energy and stamina

(7)   Creates a sense of achievement 

So… how can physical therapy help?

Whether you are a new exerciser or a conditioned athlete, we will perform a detailed evaluation and movement analysis to develop an individualized exercise program for each patient. We will establish a baseline, determine what exercises are most appropriate for the impairments noted, continually reassess, and develop a home exercise program specifically addressing patient-centered goals. 

Living with daily pain is physically and emotionally challenging. Don’t feel like “living with pain” is the only option – the physical therapists at Westchase Physical Therapy are here and willing to help improve your function and quality of life through physical therapist led aerobic exercise… and hey, who wouldn’t turn down a good night’s sleep and increased energy? 

“In a world where you can be anything, be kind”

Kylie Iasillo, PT, DPT

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