How Physical Therapy Deals with Mental Health

Have you ever thought if your mental health can affect some other part of your body and in what way? Although the real question would be “Who can help me in these cases?”

The experts who can help us in these cases are health professionals. It is a multidisciplinary work in which many professionals take part, for example, clinical doctors, psychologists, and physiotherapists.

We must understand that mental health is essential for the optimal functioning of the body. Remember that health encompasses three main factors:

  • Biological factors
  • Psychological factors
  • Social factors

The intervention of physical therapy in mental health

On this occasion, we will cite some examples as in the case of people with anorexia nervosa. This is an eating disorder characterized by having a distorted perception of weight. In general, changes in posture, muscle atrophy, chronic fatigue, contractures, muscle pain, and osteoporosis can be observed.

As a second example in depressive disorders, we will see that chronic fatigue, a flexor pattern, hypotonia, etc. usually appear.

In states of anxiety, tingling, tremors, shallow breathing, increased respiratory rate, muscle tension, among others, usually appear.

Physical therapy and scientific evidence

Physical therapy in mental health has shown scientific evidence for a wide variety of mental and psychosomatic disorders, such as eating disorders, schizophrenia, addictive behaviors, depression, dementia, personality disorders, etc.

On the other hand, new research has shown very good results related to the application of physiotherapy techniques in cases of mental health such as chronic pain and prolonged musculoskeletal disorders.

Regarding the type of intervention, physical therapy can be of very varied forms, techniques or methods, since it is adapted to the symptoms of each patient.

Likewise, the objective of this discipline is clear: “To improve the quality of life of people with mental illness and to maintain or develop the highest possible level of autonomy. In addition, it aims to delay or avoid physical deterioration, while also influencing the intervention and treatment of respiratory diseases”.

Physical therapy through therapeutic exercise

This type of therapy can bring great benefits to the mental health of the general population.

Over time and through many scientific studies, it has been shown that physical exercise provides great benefits in matters related to body image or self-esteem of the person since this directly affects the psyche.

Figures, risks, and application

At present, mental health and its deterioration is an impressive focus of alarm in our society. Neurological and mental health diseases have overtaken even diseases like diabetes and hypertension.

Also, it is very important to understand that – according to current statistics – 38 percent of patients with frailty or the elderly suffer from depression, anxiety, or some type of dementia. Another figure to take into account is that 78 percent of premature deaths in the world, of patients with a mental health disorder, were caused by deterioration in physical health, and this is where physical therapy fits as treatment.

It is said that 33 percent of the population has suffered a stroke, with signs of anxiety and depression.

It is very important to work with inter and multidisciplinary teams. The leading role that psychiatrists and psychologists have will indeed be set aside, to work in collaboration and help the symptoms of all these patients improve, applying different techniques of somatic movement, therapeutic exercise, body image, among other available techniques.


Today, unfortunately, mental health remains a taboo subject. We have to end stigmas and people must understand that they have access and the right to comprehensive mental health treatment.

Likewise, it is important to treat yourself with professional physical therapists. If you live near the Michigan state, in the US, check Miracle Physical Therapy and Massage Center Inc. here:

You can access a free diagnosis and customize the treatment to follow. Remember health comes first.

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