Medical Exercise

Exercise therapy (ET) and physical activity (PA) are core elements in musculoskeletal injury rehabilitation and treatment of chronic disease or pain related to hip, knee osteoarthritis, and chronic back pain. Furthermore, participation in ET can improve the quality of life in people with cancer, depression, and following heart failure.

Exercise is a subset of PA that is planned, structured, and repetitive and has the improvement or maintenance of physical fitness as a final or intermediate objective.

ET is defined according to MEDLINE’s Medical Subject

Exercise as a regimen or plan of physical activities designed and prescribed for specific therapeutic goals. Many clinical guidelines recommend ET as a core element of treatment. Medical exercise has a focus on health-related functional fitness and post-rehabilitation exercise, including:

  1. Assessment (functional capacity)
  2. Spinal stabilization (core efficiency-kinetic chain)
  3. Corrective exercise (may include water-based training)
  4. Range of motion training (flexibility training)
  5. Cardiorespiratory training (heart/lung function)
  6. Functional conditioning (work or sport specific)
  7. Strength training (focus on form)
  8. Specialist (hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, rheumatic conditions, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.)


Niemeijer, A., Lund, H., Stafne, S.N., Ipsen, T., Goldschmidt, C.L., Jørgensen, C.T. and Juhl, C.B., 2020. Adverse events of exercise therapy in randomised controlled trials: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of sports medicine54(18), pp.1073-1080.

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