The use of physical therapy in treating mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression

Physical Therapy Eases Anxiety and Depression

If you’ve been in a car accident, there are chances you have probably experienced mental and physical trauma. While most people visit a doctor for car accident-related injuries and a therapist for mental trauma, you may not consider using physical therapy to help treat anxiety and depression. Physical therapy provides both emotional and cognitive benefits, and creates physical improvement. What are some ways physical therapy can help treat anxiety and depression?

Improved Lifestyle Habits

When you work with a physical therapist, they may help influence your lifestyle habits, like physical activity levels, sleep hygiene, and your diet. The strategies they use can be aimed at improving the patient’s physical benefits, but they can also help improve depression and anxiety. When you improve your diet and physical activity levels, your body will be in a better physical state, which significantly improves your mental state. And we all know sleep is all-important to mental health. With better sleep hygiene—creating a comfortable bedroom environment and adopting routines that promote uninterrupted sleep, you significantly improve your mental outlook of the world, and your life.

More Exercise, More Endorphins

Physical therapists often do specific exercises with their patients and encourage them to do more at home or on their own. When you exercise or engage in physical activity, your body releases endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin, often referred to as the “feel-good hormones.”  As your body releases these positive hormones, the stress hormones—like cortisol—are naturally decreased, which curbs the effects of anxiety and depression. 

Exercise for Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

Many diseases and pain are fueled by inflammation, so reducing inflammation can make you feel better, while also relieving depression and anxiety. Anti-inflammatory benefits are obtained when you exercise moderately and don’t overdo it, so keeping a nice balance is essential. Over-exercising can fuel inflammation, so it’s important not to do too much. 

Work with A Doctor

If you’ve been in a car accident, working with a doctor knowledgeable about how to deal with the ailments that come with it is priceless. And working with a physical therapist at Synergy Health will help get you back on track. Call our office today, and let’s schedule your first appointment!