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Physical Therapy Program

Riverside Recovery provides recovery treatment using a multidisciplinary approach that heals the whole person — mentally, physically and spiritually. Along with psychotherapeutic modalities aimed at healing the mind and soul, we provide a range of therapies and services that focus on holistic wellness, including meditation and mindfulness, recreation-based therapies and nutritious meals for residents. Our physical therapy team plays an integral part in the planning and delivery of our body-oriented treatments, and provides other specialized services including exercise therapy, strength training, yoga and massage therapy.

At Riverside Recovery, we are dedicated to offering our clients therapies that are engaging, sustainable and effective, and we know that physical therapy can be all of this and more. We have seen first-hand the ways in which physical therapy can help heal someone struggling with substance abuse, both in their short-term recovery treatment with us and in their long-term independent life.

Physical Therapy in Addiction Recovery

Physical therapy is normally associated with recovering from an injury, illness or surgery. But struggling with addiction or substance abuse can come with many of the same symptoms; addiction can be so all-consuming that basic health is neglected, leading to problems like muscle atrophy and weakness, nutritional deficiencies and pain. Physical therapy — both exercise and massage elements — has also been shown to help alleviate mental health concerns like stress or anxiety, common side effects of substance abuse. Additionally, many of those struggling with addiction will avoid seeking medical treatment for either physical or mental ailments, which can have the dual effect of allowing poor health to worsen and also promoting self-medication with further drug or alcohol use. At Riverside Recovery, many of the clients we admit come to us with physical health concerns, and we know that helping them heal these problems is equally as important as treating their addiction. Since addiction and physical ailments are so closely linked, the chances of relapse are much higher if triggering physical concerns are allowed to linger beyond recovery treatment.

Pain Management and Substance Abuse

Reports of the dangers of opiates and pain-killing drugs are quickly spreading, but millions of Americans continue to abuse them every year. Many of these millions are trapped in drug abuse by real physical pain for which they are self-medicating. Whether they turned to illicit drugs because of health care costs, accessibility or otherwise, it’s not uncommon for clients struggling with substance abuse to check in to rehabilitation suffering from a musculoskeletal injury that has never been professionally evaluated or treated. In cases like these, physical therapy can truly work miracles. By restoring physical health, physical therapy can reduce and eliminate the daily pain that causes an individual to so heavily rely on opiates. And, by empowering these individuals to take control of their health without relying on drugs, we can restore the energy, confidence and positivity needed to face independent life with a minimized risk of relapse.

Evidence-Based Treatment

Research published in journals including Medicine; BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation; the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment; Mental Health and Physical Activity and the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine point toward the measurable benefits of physical therapy in addiction recovery settings. These studies include ample evidence that physical therapy is not only appropriate for those in addiction recovery, but that it can also alleviate a number of symptoms related to addiction to various substances. Some key points include:

  • Individuals in residential treatment for a substance use disorder can demonstrate aerobic capacity reduction of up to 25%, and strength value reduction of up to 33%
  • Strength training as a component of addiction recovery can improve neural function, strength, and symptoms of anxiety and insomnia
  • A study of those in recovery from methamphetamine addiction noted reduced depression and anxiety symptoms following the introduction of an exercise program
  • Addiction recovery programs that utilize exercise programs show improved abstinence for both drug and alcohol dependence
  • Massage therapy reduces anxiety and withdrawal symptoms in individuals recovering from alcohol addiction

Healthy Lifestyle Choices

At its core, addiction is a habit. Those who struggle with addiction turn to drugs or alcohol because they rely on it to feel a certain way, to calm certain feelings or to cope with certain triggers. Many modern rehabilitation facilities, Riverside Recovery included, focus on this fact and strive to replace the unhealthy habits of addiction with positive and sustainable ones. Physical therapy is one of the avenues through which we accomplish this.

Our physical therapists not only help our clients heal their current physical ailments, but they also educate clients about managing long-term health. When clients gain knowledge about wellness, exercise and diet, they can continue to care for themselves in independent life. In the context of addiction recovery, these habits of self-care are intended to replace those of self-harm. At Riverside Recovery, we encourage our clients to engage in physical activity that they enjoy — our physical therapists help administer and coordinate activities including strength training, yoga and outdoor recreational therapies like hiking or kayaking. These methods of exercise can quickly become hobbies that can replace drug or alcohol use, and in many cases can even serve as an outlet or coping mechanism in times of difficulty or in the face of cravings.

Our Physical Therapy Program

Physical therapy at Riverside Recovery is overseen and administered by licensed professionals, including an on-staff physical therapist and credentialed medical providers. We are also able to provide all of our physical therapy services onsite, with extensive exercise equipment including a half court basketball gym, a swimming pool and an exercise room with weights and cardio machines. What’s more, our riverside location in Tampa, Florida affords us access to high-quality outdoor activities like kayaking, fishing and volleyball. We offer exercise therapy, alternative medicine approaches and manual therapies under the physical therapy umbrella, and we work one-on-one with each of our clients to determine which treatments may be appropriate for their needs.

Exercise Therapy

  • Strength training
  • Exercise education
  • Recreational fitness

Alternative Medicine

  • Yoga
  • Meditation and mindfulness
  • Sound therapy

Manual Therapy

  • Massage therapy
  • Joint mobilization/manipulation
  • Myofascial release

Contact Riverside Recovery

Our breathtaking campus located in Tampa, Florida provides an open and welcoming environment for anyone struggling with addiction and substance abuse. Riverside Recovery treats a range of substance use disorders from detox through residential treatment and outpatient therapy. It is our goal to provide each of our clients with individualized compassion and care, and we offer a variety of therapeutic modalities and programs to meet the needs of each person who seeks treatment with us. If you or your loved one is struggling with substance abuse, we encourage you to reach out to our admissions team to learn more. Call us today at 800-871-5440.