What is a Theraband?

Physical therapist working with man exercising
What are Therabands and how are they used in physical therapy?. Tetra Images/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Thera Band Loops are thick elastic bands that provide a way to strengthen muscles at home. By using the resistance that Therabands provide, muscles can be strengthened easily. Theraband resistance bands are made of latex rubber, but there are non-latex varieties available for those people who are allergic to latex.

If you have an injury or illness that reslts in problems with functional mobility, your physical therapist will likely prescribe specific exercises for you to do.

Some of these exercises may be prescribed as part of a home exercise program, and Theraband - or other brands of resistance bands - may be used to perform these exercises.

Benefits of Using Theraband Resistance Bands

There are some benefits to using resistance bands to do your home exercise program. These may include:

  • They are inexpensive. Theraband resistance bands typically cost about $50 for approximately 50 yards. This makes them very affordable. In fact, many physical therapists simply give them out to their patients so they can do their exercise program.
  • Theraband is easily portable. A Theraband can be folded up and carried along with you in your pocket. That way, there is no excuse for missing your home exercise program.
  • They offer a variable amount of resistance. Therabands come in various resistance levels to make your exercises more challenging as you progress.

Some people use Theraband loops for strengthening exercises, and other times the bands can be used for flexibility as part of a towel or band stretching exercise program.

Whatever you use them for, make sure you check in with your PT to ensure that you are using them properly and safely.

Limitations to Using Theraband Resistance Bands

There are some limitations to using resistance bands for your exercises. These may include:

  • It is difficult to accurately measure the amount of resistance you are using while exercising.

Theraband resistance loops and bands seem like a simple exercise tool, but they must be used properly and with caution to avoid serious injury.

How Much Resistance is My Theraband Providing?

The Thera Band Loop system provides different levels of resistance in order to allow you to progress as you gain strength. The resistance level increases as the color of the band becomes darker. Least to most resistance is as follows: yellow, red, green, blue, and black.

Be sure you are using the proper resistance for your condition. Using a band that is too light will make your exercise less challenging and perhaps pointless. Using one that is too heavy may make your exercise too difficult or lead to strain and stress or injury. Be sure to check in with your physical therapist if you have any questions about using your resistance band.

Therabands provide you with a simple, easy to use exercise tool so you can get your rehab home exercise program done quickly and safely.

 For more information regarding Thera Band Resistance Bands and Loops visit their web site: Theraband

This article has been carefully edited by Brett Sears, PT, the Expert for Physical Therapy.

Source: Hughes, CJ, et al. Resistance Properties of Thera-Band® Tubing During Shoulder Abduction Exercise. JOSPT. 29(7). July 1999l.

Continue Reading