PTSD Victims may Benefit From Exercise

Post traumatic stress disorder patients benefit from exercise and cognitive behavior interventions

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Exercising is good for just about everything, so it's no surprise that it's been found to help patients with post traumatic stress disorder. Exercise is prescribed for disease, injuries, and overall health.

The University of West Florida performed a study to determine if exercise could be a suitable treatment for patients with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and found that it is.

"Exercise and cognitive therapy significantly help patients with PTSD."

Lead author Erika Smith from the University of West Florida studied 14 participants who were required to attend cognitive behavioral therapy every two weeks. Half of the group, 7 participants, were also required to attend group circuit training classes two times a week. Participants were recruited from the Certified Rape Crisis Center in Pensacola, Florida.

The circuit training group exercised for 40 minutes per session, and circuits consisted of 30 seconds per exercise. The researchers measured participants PTSD symptoms before and after treatments using a specific checklist.

Researchers found both groups showed improvements according to the checklist, but participants who were also required to attend both cognitive behavior therapy and exercise showed significant improvement (10+).

This shows that adding exercise to the therapy mix may lead to better treatments for people suffering from PTSD. More research is needed to confirm this assumption.

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Review Date: 
June 3, 2011
Last Updated:
June 7, 2011