Skip to content

Physical therapy may prove to be a powerful drug free antidepressant.

There is an established relationship between physical activity and depression.
Running reduces the body's stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body's natural painkillers and mood elevators.
Running reduces the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators.
Depression can manifest itself in different ways, ranging from how we a feel, act and think. Depression can cause changes in sleep patterns, energy levels, motivation, concentration, and feelings of self worth (NIMH, 2012). Mood disorders can lead to substance abuse, smoking, and other destructive behavior.
Physical therapy can be as beneficial in treating depression as antidepressants. Anyone who is suffering from a major depressive disorder should be monitored by a psychologist and or a psychiatrist.
Antidepressants are widely used to treat depression. Like any drug, there can be unwanted side effects. Nausea, headaches, sleeping problems, agitation, or sexual difficulty can result.
Children, teens, and young adults are at a higher risk of harmful side effects from medications. Given the risks, alternative treatments including physical therapy should be explored.
Many people become melancholy and may not realize they are depressed. Like any other illness it’s best to consult a doctor to assess your condition. Depressive symptoms have been treated with physical therapy.
Not everyone responds to physical therapy the same way. It is important to understand that physical therapy alone may not be the best treatment. Working closely with a doctor who treats mental illness is advised.
There are countless factors to consider in treating a mood disorder. It is important to take into consideration an individual’s:
  • Age
  • Severity of depression
  • Type, frequency, and level of physical activity
  • Method of intervention
All these factors play a role in how well participants respond to physical therapy treatment.
There is growing evidence that physical therapy is effective in the treatment of depression. While we exercise there is an increase in the brain’s neurotransmitter release. The link between physical activity and mental health is real (Deslandes et al., 2009).
Intensity, duration, and length of training can affect the psychological benefits. There is a minimum duration recommended to receive beneficial effects of exercise (O’Neal et al., 2000).
Everyone is different. Light, moderate and intense physical activity have helped diminish mood disorders. Resistance training and aerobic physical activity both have helped diminish and eliminate depression symptoms (Dunn, Trivedi, & O’Neal, 2001).
We all need to find ways to create balance in our lives. It can be challenging and stressful. Sometimes life gets you down. Physical therapy has proven to help treat depressive disorders.

To learn more about physical therapy treatment programs, set up a free exploratory examination with one of our doctors today.
Moriarty Physical Therapy is the premier physical therapist provider here in the Hudson Valley with centers located near you. To find out more about physical therapy or to book your first appointment with a physical therapist, visit our website at or contact Moriarty Physical Therapy at (845) 454-4137.

Schedule a FREE 15-minute Exploration Visit

Come visit one of our physical therapy clinics in New York or North Carolina and one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy will do a 15-minute consultation to see if physical therapy is right for you. In the consultation, we’ll help determine the source of pain and movement restrictions to see if you would benefit from physical therapy or might need the assistance of another healthcare professional. If so, we’ll make a referral and help speed up achieving your health goal.

You have nothing to lose; the screening is free! And if physical therapy could help you, we can perform the examination right then–even without a prescription–with Direct Access (covered by insurance).

Back To Top