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Exercise Handouts vs Physical Therapy

Many patients will look up exercises to help get rid of their pain.  Some doctors may also give exercise handouts to their patients for them to get rid of their pain.  Many times these exercises or handouts are not effective.  One of the reasons for this is that usually the main ingredient in physical therapy is hands on care and not exercises.  The exercises just help to reinforce what we work on in therapy.  There are several other reasons handouts may not be effective with two of the main reasons being that these exercises are not tailored to your specific body and condition and you may be doing the correct exercises, but with incorrect form.  A physical therapist will give you the hands on care that you need, put together a specific plan for you and your condition,  and make sure that you are using good form when performing the exercises.  There are times when just doing the exercises will help you, but according to research studies (1) you will have fewer improvements without a physical therapist.  If you are not sure if exercise handouts will be enough to rid you of your pain please give us a call for a free consultation.

  1. Friedrich M, Cermak T, Maderbacher P. “The effect of brochure use versus therapist teaching on patients performing therapeutic exercise and on changes in impairment status.”  Phys Ther. 1996 Oct;76(10):1082-8.