Physiotherapy exercises enable people to deal with injuries and diseases that hamper their functional abilities. Specific exercises are recommended to deal with different parts of the body like the shoulders, knees, lower back, neck, etc.
Physiotherapy exercises alleviate pain as well as strengthen muscles and joints. These exercises are considered to be one of the best way to deal with muscle pulls and strains, as well as orthopedic injuries and disorders. These exercises are also used to improve the range of motion and flexibility. Trained physical therapists help people who are suffering with problems in specific areas like knees, shoulders, neck, back, etc. Here are a few physical therapy exercises for specific parts.
One of the most injury prone part of the human body is the knee, due to extensive use. Physiotherapy exercises for the knee, concentrate on the quadriceps, hamstring, and hip abductor muscles. Here are a few knee pain exercises:
- Leg Lifts : Lie on your back with your right leg extended in front of you, and left leg bent at the knee, with foot firmly planted on the ground. Now lift your right leg off the ground, without bending your right knee. Try to raise the leg as high as the position of the left knee. Switch the leg poses and repeat the motion using the left leg. Perform such sets for a desired number of times.
- Hamstring Curls : Lie on your stomach with your hands by your side. Now bend your right leg at the knee, and bring your heel towards your buttocks. Now grab the right ankle with your right hand, and hold position for 10 seconds. Repeat the exercise using your left leg. Perform the exercise for a desired set of repetitions.
The shoulder region comprises muscles like the trapezius, deltoids, rotator cuff, etc. When there is a tear or strain in these muscles one will experience pain. To get relief from this pain, and also to strengthen them to avoid injuries, you could try the following exercises:
- Shoulder Squeeze: Stand straight with your shoulders back, chest out, and hands resting by your side. Now tuck your chin, bend your arms at the elbows, and push your shoulders back as if you are trying to touch them behind your back. Once you have squeezed them together as much as possible, hold the position for a count of 10.
- Cuff Contraction: Stand firmly with your chest out, and look straight ahead. Now, bend your right arm at the elbow at an angle of 90 degrees, such that your forearms are parallel to the ground. Keep your elbow close to the body, and move your hand away from the body as far as possible. Repeat the motion with the other hand.
Lower Back Pain
Another vulnerable body part that is prone to injuries and frequent pain is the lower back. Some exercises useful for dealing with such back pain are:
- Knees to Chest : On an exercise mat, lie down on your back, with the legs extended in front of you. Bend your left leg, grab your knee, and pull it towards your chest. Once fully contracted hold the position for about 20 seconds. Repeat the motion with your right leg.
- Cat Stretch: For this exercise, get down on all fours by planting your palms and knees firmly on the floor. Now push your tummy towards the floor, lift your head up, and look straight ahead. Hold this position for a count of 10, and repeat the exercise 2-3 times.
Just by rotating or twisting the neck in a particular direction can help to improve the strength and flexibility of neck muscles.
- Back and Front Tilt: Stand straight, and place your feet hip-width apart, and hands fully extended and hanging by your side. Now very slowly tilt your head back, as far as you can, without arching your back. Hold position for 5-10 seconds. Then tilt your head forward, try to touch your chin to the chest, and hold position for 5-10 count.
- Neck Rotation: You can either sit or stand for this neck exercise. Start by looking straight ahead, and then slowly rotate your neck clockwise for 5-8 times. Then rotate it the anti clockwise direction for 5-8 times. Keep your eyes open throughout the exercise. If you feel dizzy while rotating your neck, stop the exercise, and lie down, or sit down if you are standing.
One of the most used muscles are the leg muscles, and they are highly prone to injuries and cramps. Inculcate the following exercises for foot and ankles, in your daily routine.
- Ankle Curls: Sit on a chair, and keep your feet on the ground slightly apart. Ensure that your torso is perpendicular to the thighs. Now firmly plant your heel in the floor, and curl your foot up towards your shin bone. Once you are all the way up, hold the position for 5 seconds, and let your foot back down. This exercise works well for relief from ankle pain.
- Tiptoes: For this exercise stand straight, look forward, and extend your hands by the side. This will be the starting position. Now lift your heels off the ground, so that your body weight is balanced on your toes. Hold the position for a 5-10 seconds.
A Few Tips
Performing these exercises daily, as part of your muscle warm up routine, is useful to avoid muscle cramps and strains. Whenever you are doing these exercises, concentrate on the muscle you are working on, and notice the pain you are experiencing. Perform these exercises regularly, as muscles need constant stimulation. Consistency in the workout program is crucial for success. Decide a time for doing these exercises.
Physiotherapy exercises are one of the major tools used by therapists to help people in dealing with aches and pains. Many fitness experts also believe that inculcating physiotherapy exercises in the daily workout plan is a great way to improve flexibility. Most of the exercises do not require any fitness equipment, and can be easily performed at home.