How Physical Therapy Helps Patients With Anxiety/Depression

How Physical Therapy Helps Patients With Anxiety/Depression

Physical therapy can have a colossal impact on someone’s life. Often, these benefits involve physical health advancements – like strength, power, endurance, balance and mobility. While researchers recognize the many cognitive and emotional values, we tend to think of them solely as a means of physical healing.  

However, physical therapy can improve much more than your body. It can also have extraordinary advantages for your mind. Countless patients suffer from anxiety and depression every day. Usually, they go straight to medication as a way to heal. However, while medication can be helpful for many, physical therapy provides an all-natural way to deal with these issues. In this post, we’ll discuss how physical therapy can ease symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients.  

Physical Therapy for Anxiety 

One of the main ways PT reduces anxiety is by easing anxiety sensitivity. Many patients dealing with anxiety report the bodily symptoms from auto or workplace injuries they experience are often excruciating. Therefore, they avoid exercise for fear of exacerbating the pain. Also, they avoid it out of anxiety that a physical disaster will ensue if they exercise. To reduce anxiety sensitivity, therapists can produce similar responses through exercise along with thorough information to alleviate their concerns. 

Eventually, the patients dissociate the physical symptoms and the negative, anxious feelings that they experience on occasion. Basically, these personalized exercises help patients interpret bodily symptoms as normal stressors. Obviously, this is preferable to the feeling that a physical calamity is imminent.  

Physical Therapy for Depression 

When it comes to depression, exercise reduces and replaces apathy with a sense of accomplishment and pride in patients. The feeling of achievement and mastery through exercise and weight loss can significantly improve self-esteem. As a result, they also reduce negative thoughts and feelings like shame or self-loathing. 


In addition, patients develop social connections that benefit them in the process. In some cases, the useful connection can be through the physical therapist, in others with friends or family, and others may connect with fellow patients who can relate to their current experiences. When you combine these with external support and a sense of accomplishment, physical therapy consistently reaffirms its power as a natural antidepressant.  


Physical therapy can help you restore strength and even offer everyday ways to avoid pain or further injury. At Farmingdale Physical Therapy West, connecting our patients with all-natural forms of healing is among the most rewarding aspects of our work. And helping them to restore their mental and physical health is, of course, an endlessly-gratifying benefit to what we do each day.  

Share this article...