Friday, November 18, 2016

Treatment of Metabolic Disorders

The purpose of this blog is to provide an informative view on how physical therapy impacts the treatment and management of metabolic disorders such as, obesity. I will discuss how physical therapy is useful in preventative measures for this disease.

Andrea Avruskin, a physical therapist, states, “A full 68% of the adult population of the United States is currently overweight and 36% are obese.”1 Obesity is excess storage of fat by an imbalance of caloric intake versus caloric expenditure.2 Exercise is a fundamental component of a healthy lifestyle, can yield several benefits, reverse the effects of obesity, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Physical therapists are finding new ways to help combat the near epidemic level of obesity. PTs are helping overweight individuals get more active and teaching them exercise can be fun. Based on the individual's specific needs, the physical therapist can develop a treatment program that can help reach your goals and maintain weight loss. For proper treatment of metabolic disorders, identifying the underlying causes of the disorder is crucial to correct and reverse the behavior.1 PTs are responsible for setting client goals, clients sticking to the program, and finding barriers to developing healthy eating habits.

There are several ways this disease can be prevented. Including, but not limited to incorporating exercise in their daily routine, avoid watching TV more than 2 hours a day, and use your body as much as you can to move, to name a few.2 If needed, a PT can create an at-home exercise program tailored to specific needs of the obese individual. Physical therapists help by reducing physical pain, improving cardiovascular fitness, improve strength and movement, improving flexibility and posture, and increasing activity levels. All this combined is a great way to prevent and treat obesity. In extreme cases, surgery may be required to treat obesity. Preoperative programs often involve strength training and aerobic conditioning, while postoperative programs often start with deep breathing and lower-extremity exercises, gently increasing to strength and aerobic training. Your physical therapist will help you minimize pain, regain motion and strength, and return to normal activities in the speediest manner possible after surgery.

In conclusion, I have reviewed how physical therapy treats metabolic disorders, more specifically obesity. Additionally, I included a few preventative measures for the disease. In my next blog, I will discuss how a beneficial a physical therapist can be in developing a proper nutrition and diet plan.


1Avurskin, A. (2016, November 1). Physical Therapsit's Guide to Obesity . Retrieved fromAPTA:MoveForward:

2Blundetto, S. R. (2016, November 1). Physical Therapy for Treatment of Metabolic Disorders: New Treatment for the 21st Century. Retrieved from Ivy Rehab: Physical Therapy:


  1. Great Blog! I am going to PT school next fall! I have worked in a few different PT labs where we put this practice into play. PT isn't just for injuries, for severely obese individuals PT is a great starting point. Light, repetitive exercise can help the person dramatically! Good read.

  2. Great information! I loved how you discussed the use of physical therapy for something other than an injury. Many people would not thought to use PT as a way to fight obesity.

  3. I loved reading your blog. I have personally been through PT for injuries and I never would have thought it would be beneficial to treating metabolic disorders. Great way to think outside of the box.