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Schumacher, I. and Warmuth, M. (2011): Exercise therapy (Krankengymnastik/Heilgymnastik) in physical medicine: Rapid systematic review. Decision Support Document 52.

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This exploratory overview aims to assess complex interventions in physical medicine. Exercise therapy ("Krankengymnastik/Heilgymnastik" in German) is most often used for the treatment of diseases and conditions that primarily affect the musculoskeletal system. It intends to practice patterns of movement and strengthen the skeletal muscles in order to relieve pain and improve physical function and thereby improve health-related quality of life. This systematic review (of systematic reviews and meta-analyses) aims to gather evidence on the efficacy and safety of exercise therapy ("Krankengymnastik/Heilgymnastik") for different indications.

In the absence of an explicit and generally accepted definition of "Krankengymnastik/Heilgymnastik", its boundaries to other interventions in the field of physical medicine, such as training therapy, remain unclear. Most of the scientific evidence is published in English, where broader terms like "exercise therapy" or "physiotherapy" are used that subsume all kinds of exercise, which aim at facilitating physical exercise in general.

The limited evidence indicates that exercise therapy ("Krankengymnastik/Heilgymnastik") reduces pain (back pain, lumbar disc surgery) and improves function (back pain, osteoarthritis of the knee, lumbar disc surgery, knee arthroplasty), gait (stroke) and quality of life. In addition, there were no increased adverse events (hip fracture surgery, stroke) associated with exercise therapy.

Recommendations about design details for specific programmes involving exercise therapy ("Krankengymnastik/Heilgymnastik") cannot be drawn from this highly aggregated evidence. In addition, this systematic review can neither make statements related to single interventions in the field of physical medicine, nor be used for the appraisal of such single interventions.

Item Type:Decision Support Document
Keywords:exercise therapy, physical medicine, physiotherapy, kinesitherapy
Subjects:WB Practice of medicine > WB 300-962 Therapeutics
WE Musculoskeletal system > WE 720-755 Back
WE Musculoskeletal system > WE 200-259 Bones
QT Physiology > QT 250-275 Leisure Activities. Sports Medicine > QT 261 Sports medicine
WE Musculoskeletal system > WE 300-400 Joint tissues
WG Cardiovascular system
WB Practice of medicine > WB 460-556 Physical and occupational therapy
WE Musculoskeletal system > WE 168-190 Orthopedics
Series Name:Decision Support Document 52
Deposited on:29 Mar 2012 10:27
Last Modified:15 Jul 2020 17:47

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