Whether you’re recovering from an injury, or just looking for exercises to keep you active and mobile, home health physical therapy can allow you to keep your body in its best condition so that you can do the things you love. When recovering from a recent injury, surgery, or illness; it can be difficult to know what the best physical therapy exercises are. Start feeling like yourself again and regain strength. The key to exercise is to participate in it consistently. When you are working on strengthening your muscles or re-wiring your brain it is important to utilize repetition of movements, creating habits.
Your brain has a lot of control over how successful you are in the recovery process. When it comes to a lasting recovery, mental energy and influences can be unmeasurable. Think mind over matter.
Physical therapy is simple exercises targeted towards your individual needs. It is best to incorporate them into your daily routine and be consistent in execution. Complete the best physical therapy exercises at home and just keep moving.
Why Physical Therapy at Home?
Depending on your mobility rate, home health physical therapy could be the best option in helping you fully recover. Although visiting a physical therapist is crucial to evaluate your condition and prescribe the best treatment plan for you, there’s a lot of work you’ll have to do at home on your own as well. Participating in home health physical therapy exercises can increase range of motion and improvement of mobility even in between therapy visits.
On your own time and whenever possible, complete the following best physical therapy exercises to get the blood, joints, and muscles moving again. Before you solely depend on physical therapy exercises at home, consult with your physical therapist to know which exercises would be the best for you.
The Best Physical Therapy Practices
The best physical therapy exercises will range depending on whether you need assistance in regaining strength, flexibility/mobility, balancing, or range of motion.
Common instructions when completing the best physical therapy practices include: continue to breathe throughout the exercises, counting out loud will help you keep track of how many repetitions you have completed, listen to your body, and allow consistent resting periods between repetitions.
The following are simple exercises anyone can participate in to improve overall wellness.
Quad Sets – While sitting either on the couch or on the ground, place a rolled-up towel under your knee and flex your foot back and forth stretching the muscles in your quad and knee.
Terminal Knee Extension – Using a foam roller under your knee and sitting on the floor, lift your foot upward until your heel and knee are at the same level. It should extend the muscles in the knee and increase strength.
Lunges - Step one foot forward and bend both knees until your front leg reaches a 90 degree angle. Step feel back together and then repeat motion on the other side. This helps strengthen quads and can help with muscle tone and balance.
Neck Stretches – Roll your head from one shoulder to the other, slowly until you feel a stretch. You should follow a half circle motion and only go as far as you can without pain.
Bird Dog – With all fours on the ground, extend the right arm and left leg out at the same time in full extension, stretching as far as is comfortable. Switch arms and legs to complete the exercise on both sides of the body.
Spine Stretch – Sit on the floor with your feet wider than your hips, start to lean your head forward toward the floor, placing your hands in the middle of the triangle to help pull your core forward. This exercise will stretch the spinal cord.
Ankle Mobility – While standing and supporting yourself by extending one of your arms to a wall or countertop, rock back and forth from your toes to your heel. Repeat exercise on both feet to flex ankle muscles.
Overhead Stretch – Standing with your feet wider than your shoulders, place your arm behind your head, creating a triangle. Use the opposite arm to push your elbow slightly down. This should stretch your triceps and help with mobility in your arms. It also stretches your shoulder and back muscles.
Shoulder pass through – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a broomstick parallel to the ground, then extend your arms slowly (while keeping them straight) behind your head.
Standing 3-Way Kicks – Use a resistance band or rubber band placed at your ankles, while standing maintain balance on one foot, use your other foot and extend your foot straight in front of the body, sideways beyond the shoulder, and back behind your upper body.
Sidestepping – Place your feet shoulder-width apart and squat, while maintaining the squat position extend your right leg outward, then switch to your left leg. Transfer the balance from leg to leg. It should be conducted quickly as touch steps.
Standing March – Using a countertop or chair as support, extend your knee (one-at-a-time) towards your chest. Think of a slow-motion band march in place.
RANGE OF MOTION
Arm and Wrist – Sitting in a chair, with your arms loosely on your knees bend your wrists so your fingers point up and then switch direction to point your fingers down towards the floor. Complete in repetitions. Another exercise you can do to improve fine motor skills is while using a rubber band, place your arms in front of your body, just slightly wider than your shoulders.
Hand and finger – Whether you like to sit or stand, make a tight fist then open your hand allowing your fingers to relax. Another simple exercise would be to open your hand and stretch your fingers apart making an exaggerated high-five, stretching all muscles in the hand. This will assist in fine motor skills.
Household items can act as available resources or supports and offer assistance. Common household items that can be used when participating in physical therapy exercises include therapy balls, treadmills, weights, bikes, towels, and straps. Look around your house and see what could be substituted for a weight, rubber band, balancing support, or foam roller.
Benefits of Physical Therapy at Home
Physical therapy exercises should be designed to fit your individual needs. Although there might be consistent exercises regardless of your pain or injury, participate in the ones recommended to you by a trained physical therapist.
The best physical therapy exercises, conducted at home, will relieve you of consistent pain and help you become more mobile. Not only can home health physical therapy assist you in regaining basic strength; it can help you with arthritis, plantar fasciitis, cerebral palsy, and other more serious conditions or injuries such as a spinal cord injury and stroke symptoms.
About Stronglife Physiotherapy
Stronglife Physiotherapy offers the best physical therapy in Orem, Utah. We skillfully prescribe physical therapy exercises to help you with mobility and reduce weakness in the body. We can establish an individualized routine of exercises while helping you – decrease pain, stabilize joints, increase range of motion, re-train muscles, encourage healing, and improve posture. Stronglife Physiotherapy will help you believe in yourself again and stay active without painkillers, surgery, or excessive downtime.
Check out all of the Orem, UT Stronglife Physiotherapy services today to start your physical therapy journey.
AJ Ludlow is a Doctor of Physical Therapy serving the Provo/Orem area and specializing in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain and injuries.