The visit to the physical therapist is just one step in the road to recovery. Patients will be required to participate in exercises directed at their problem and condition. Some of these physical therapy exercises can be performed at home while others must be assisted by the therapists.
The psychical therapy exercises will vary due to the area of concern. All exercises should be performed just as the therapist directs as any deviation may result in injury or be ineffective. The physical therapy exercises run the gamut from basic stretching to the intense exercises required in rehabilitation such as learning how to walk again.
Some of the examples of basic physical therapy exercises, like stretching, may seem easy enough but must be done in a precise way to avoid a pulled muscle. One of these physical therapy exercises is the sitting stretch. This is a relatively easy exercise. Sit on the floor and wrap a towel at the end of your foot. Use the towel to pull the foot towards your body and hold for a few seconds. You will then repeat this with the other foot. Go slow and do not over stretch yourself.
Other exercises used after an operation are necessary to improve blood flow and circulation to reduce the risks of clots and to ensure that the operation was a success. As such, these physical therapy exercises will be more intense and focused. The patient may be required to perform these exercises for certain durations up to several weeks, months, or even a lifetime to maintain a quality of mobility required for day to day life. An example of an advanced exercise required after hip replacement surgery involves an elastic tube that increases resistance to the leg and thus forces the hip muscles to work harder. This will improve muscle strength and aid in rehabilitation.
Other physical therapy exercises will help the patient in learning how to use a cane, walker, or crutches. These devices aid in walking and are very important. It may take time to learn how to use such devices effectively. These devices can even be used in other exercises to enable increased mobility and allow the patient to cast them off and walk on their own again.
Physical therapy exercises take a certain amount of dedication. Patients must understand that any exercises prescribed by the therapists are necessary and should be done exactly as given. These exercises will improve the body and quicken recovery time. Some of the physical therapy exercises will be assisted by the therapists. It is up to the patient to keep up with any exercises that need to be done in the home. Rehabilitation is made up of many steps and each of them needs to be followed. Dedication and commitment, as well as the exercises, will help when recovering from an operation or just living a full life.