If you have ever stepped foot into a physical therapy clinic, you may have noticed a large assortment of exercise equipment and people moving as part of their therapy. In light of this, one might wonder why exercise is used as a primary treatment option? Prior to modern medicine, humans relied on movement to heal specific body-parts after fracturing a bone or spraining an ankle. Although passive medical treatments may help reduce swelling or the sensation of pain initially, movement is key to returning to normal function. 

Body cells communicate and repair when resistance is applied

1) Trigger repair with outside load

2) Cell-to-Cell communication

3) Cell factories build materials and strengthen local and surrounding areas 

Physical therapists use movement everyday, and as research develops about specific mechanisms for repair, therapists can be confident in the use of progressive resistance exercise and principles of mechanotherapy (therapy that uses loads to provide therapeutic benefit).

At a cellular level, communication between cells is crucial for the repair and healing process. One way body tissue can heal is with outside loads that pull or compress the cells. With muscles and tendons, pulling forces act to build up body tissues and prevent loss of strength. Bone cells respond by compressive forces from gravity or tension applied by muscles. 

When the healing cells get a mechanical trigger, they signal to neighboring cells to start to build up materials and reinforce areas that require greater strength to tolerate outside forces. 

Tiny factories build the necessary materials and then place them where healing needs to occur. Not only does the building process occur where healing needs to take place, but since signals went out to neighboring cells, other surrounding areas will be reinforced as well. 

Your physical therapist will start safe movement as soon as possible and progressively increase the load and direction of outside forces to stimulate repair. As research continues to support movement, you can be confident that the physical therapists at Rehab Solutions in Gillette and Sundance, WY are using treatments and methods to stimulate repair and promote healing.

By: Aaron Proefrock, PT, DPT

Interested in more? Follow this link for additional information and details:

Gillette Office

Fax: 307.686.9484

1103 E. Boxelder Rd. Suite U
Gillette, WY 82718

7am – 6pm
Monday – Thursday
7am – 5pm Friday
Or by appointment

Sundance Office

Fax: 307.696.2895

220 East Main Street,
Sundance, Wyoming 82729

7am – 5pm
Monday – Thursday

7am – 12pm Friday
Or by appointment

Newcastle Office

Fax: 307.696.2896

219 West Main Street
Newcastle, Wyoming 82701

7am – 6pm
Monday – Thursday
8am – 12pm Friday
Or by appointment

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