October is Physical Therapy Month
Physical Therapy Exercises
Physical therapy exercises are intended to restore strength and endurance, increase range of movement, and also improve balance and coordination. To increase the effectiveness, physical therapists use physical therapy exercises treatment along with external stimulation such as heat, coldness, ultrasound, electricity, infrared or UV light, traction, water, and massage. All are applied externally to a specific area, or internally, in order to relieve pain or reducing swelling.
A major factor to assure the success of the exercise methods is to consistently perform them correctly. As long as properly prescribed, physical therapy exercises are the most effective method for treating certain injuries or restoring basic functions.
Physical therapy exercises performed during office visits alone is inadequate. For quick recovery, physical therapists also teach patients how to exercise at home. Here are some examples of physical therapy exercises to do at home:
Sitting Stretch: Sit on the floor with a towel around one of your outstretched foot (or around the one bent knee). Pull the foot towards your body (or the knee upwards) to feel the stretch. Hold for 3-5 seconds. Do alternately, and repetitively 2-3 times per day.
Standing Wall Push: Position your body against/ facing a wall with one foot behind slightly lunging. Hold the heel down while gently pushing your hands towards the wall to feel the stretch. Hold for 3-5 seconds. Do alternately, and repetitively 2-3 times per day.
Tightening Legs Over a Ball: With one knee bent over a ball, straighten the knee by trying to tighten the muscle on your upper thigh. Be sure to keep the bottom of your knee on the ball. Hold for 3-5 seconds. Do alternately, and repetitively 2-3 times per day.
Note that the repetitions and frequency of the exercises may be modified by you or your physical therapist. If you are ever unsure of a movement above be sure to ask your PT to ensure the movement is safe and works for you!