Physical therapy is a treatment that uses specially designed physical exercises, massage, and various equipment incorporating the help of technology. Its objective is to relieve a patient of pain, recuperate from injuries or accidents, and recover from physical inabilities.
A physical therapist is a licensed health professional who has a degree in physical therapy. If you have a health condition that needs therapy, your doctor will endorse you to a professional therapist. Then, the PT will give you hands-on treatment based on your needs. You can go to the nearest clinic or hospital, or request to have a home-care PT.
During this time of a pandemic, going to the hospital or requesting a home-care PT seems risky. However, it would be best if you still receive regular treatment for your health condition. Listed below are the different physical therapy exercises that you can try at home during this pandemic.
Severe leg injuries
Your legs are made of soft tissues, blood veins, different layers of muscles, and strong bones. These are the reasons that you can stand on your feet and move. That’s why you always need to take good care of your legs. However, accidents can happen.
Some accidents can cause bone fractures and damage to the soft bone tissues, causing severe leg injuries. If these happen to you, you’ll need to undergo surgery and receive a series of medications to heal the damage. Severe leg injuries can be so painful and will take time to heal and recover.
If the wound and fracture finally heal – but your legs don’t have functional mobility yet – physical therapy is the best option for your legs to recover fully. However, requesting a PT can be risky during this pandemic. Hence, here’s a list of physical leg therapy exercises for your legs that you can try at home.
While lying on your bed with a pillow under your head, tighten your buttocks’ muscles for at least five seconds. Repeat this exercise for a maximum of 15times. It’ll strengthen the muscles on your buttocks and hips that will consequently make your hip points create little movements.
In this therapy exercise, you’ll be in the same position as the buttocks exercise. However, you need to slowly bend your knees and let your heels reach your buttocks. Don’t do it forcefully if you still feel pain, and let your knees reach the distance that you can bear. Hold your knees for at least five seconds, and repeat the process for at least 10 times.
While lying on your back, put a bolster or similar object under your knees. Straighten your knees very carefully and stiffen the muscles on your thigh for at least 3–5 seconds. Repeat this activity for 10–15 times.
Slowly press your knees flat against the surface of your bed. It’ll make your thigh muscles start to work and develop strength. It’ll also help your kneecaps be in the correct position. Hold your knees for 3–5 seconds, and do this exercise for 10–15 times.
The next exercise is to lift your legs with your knee joints straight. Slowly lift them for about 12 inches high from the surface of your bed. Hold your legs for a maximum of 10 seconds. Do this activity for ten to 10–15 times. If your legs start to gain strength, put some weight on your ankles by adding 2–3lbs objects while doing the activity.
To get your ability to walk back, you need to have strong hamstring muscles. These muscles help you bend your knees and make your hips move. While your whole body is facing down your bed, slowly raise your legs upward, about twelve inches high from the surface.
Again, don’t forcefully do it if it’s still painful. Let your feet reach the height that you can bear. Hold your legs for a maximum of five seconds. Do this activity 10–15 times.
If your legs start to gain strength, put some weight on your ankles by adding 2–3lbs objects while doing the activity.
If your legs don’t have functional mobility yet after the injury heals, you can try these physical therapy exercises at home, especially during this pandemic. If you find other exercises hard to do alone, you can seek assistance from your family or friends.
Severe arm injuries
The human arm consists of the upper arm, elbow joints, forearm, wrist, and hand. These are the reasons why you can do a lot of hands-on activities every day. However, aside from your legs, accidents can cause you severe arm injuries.
After your surgeries and medication, your injured arms can heal but will still be too incapacitated to function. The help of a physical therapist is what you should seek. Hence, here’s a list of physical arm therapy exercises you can try at home.
Use your uninjured arm, grip on a firm and a safe object such as a table or a chair. Lean over and hang your injured arm straight down. After that, draw circles in the air by slowly rotating your arm. Start making small circles to big ones. Change the direction of the rotation from time to time. Do this activity for a maximum of five minutes in each session, 5–10 times a day.
Next, stretch your right arm to the left side, placing it near your belly. Reach the right elbow using your left hand and pull it slowly upward to your chest. Do the same thing with your left arm. Keep this position for about 30–50 seconds. You can do this exercise 3–5 times for each arm in one session.
You can do this next exercise while standing on the floor or sitting up straight on a chair. Choose a position that you find comfortable. Then, bend your head forward to feel the stretch on your nape. After that, move your head to the left side to stretch your right shoulder. Do the same with your left shoulder by moving your head to your right side.
Give it at least a maximum of one minute for holding the position on each side, and repeat the activity 10–15 times. Take a deep breath in between turns from left to right.
Severe leg and arm injuries, such as bone fractures and damage to the soft bone tissues, are excruciating and will take time to recover fully. It’ll never happen overnight, but it’ll take effect sooner as you start your therapy today. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is probably restricting you from meeting a physical therapist. Thus, the list of physical therapy exercises above will be of big help for you to start the sessions inside your home.
Image credit: Freepik
Melissa Bell is a content writer and copywriter who specialises in fitness, lifestyle, and health. She’s known for being a health junkie and is crazy about yoga, tea, biology, and self-help books.