Strength Training in Physical Therapy

By: Dr. Laura Wenger, PT, OCS, FAAOMPT

With the addition of Dr. Nathan Dailey, PT, OCS, CSCS to our team last fall came his strong drive to utilize more strength training within our physical therapy treatment due to his specific background and knowledge as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Lucky for Nathan (and all of us!), the remodel that was completed last year provided the perfect space to install a strength training area so that we can meet the needs of our patients. Since the installation of this equipment a few months ago, Nathan has been educating the rest of our team on technique and utilization of strength training within the context of physical therapy.

As it turns out in my investigations of literature, so many of the common issues we see can benefit from the addition of strength training in order to maximize rehabilitation effect. While we have always utilized strength training in other forms in our exercise prescription up to this point- using body weight, bands, and lighter weights- we are now able to further maximize these positive effects using the new strength equipment. For example, take a peek at this recent infographic from the British Journal of Sports Medicine outlining the research that supports strength training for improving running performance.

Infographic from British Journal of Sports Medicine

Regardless of the issue that’s bringing you to physical therapy, make sure to ask your physical therapist about how strength training can be an adjunct to your treatment in helping you move better, feel better, and be stronger and healthier in your life.