How Physical Health Influences Mental Health

Since 2020 has been the year of the health pandemic due to COVID-19, more and more people are very acutely aware of how the quality of their physical health influences their ability to protect themselves against illness. The healthier we are physically, the stronger our immune system tends to be and the more likely we are to recover from diseases like the common cold, influenza, and even the coronavirus.


It is a fact that COVID-19 has wreaked more havoc on those with compromised health or a longer list of comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, pulmonary conditions, and cardiac conditions. It’s not to say that COVID-19 has not impacted those without underlying health conditions, it’s just that the statistics indicate it has been more detrimental to those with chronic health issues.


When the body is not physically functioning at its best, it doesn’t  feel as good. Joints feel stiff and achy. Muscles feel tight and sore. 


What happens when it hurts to move?  


Most people limit their activities. They don’t go out as much. They start to withdraw and isolate.


According to the World Confederation for Physical Therapy, the following statistics are true:

  • 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health condition of some sort in their lifetime
  • 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a mental health problem
  • 20% of people living with osteoarthritis have depression or anxiety
  • 33% of patients with a stroke suffer with depression
  • 38% of people with frailty have depression


I encourage you to watch my latest video to learn about how physical therapy can help people with mental health problems.


If you are suffering with a mental health condition or if you know of someone who has a mental health condition, I hope that you reach out to both a mental health care provider AND a physical therapist. A collaborative approach in treatment is the key to success.


To Your Best Health, 

Dr. Jeanette


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