Physiotherapy exercises have many perks, including better circulation, muscle strengthening, injury prevention, and balance. The workouts are also vital for recovery after an injury. Your physiotherapist will create a detailed and personalized program for your needs and choose from many exercises. Below is an overview of the standard physio workouts and their benefits:
Physiotherapy Balance Exercises
Balance exercises are prevalent in many physio regimens. Your physiotherapist can recommend static and dynamic balance, depending on your case. Static balance involves controlling a stationary body, while dynamic balance refers to control when moving. Most physio balance workouts use a combination of static and dynamic exercises for full functional recovery.
Excellent static balance will prevent unpleasant falls, fractures, and bruises. Dynamic balance targets muscles to help stabilize joints such as the back, hip, knee, and ankle. The physiotherapist will develop a program to improve balance and proprioception (joint position awareness).
Balance exercises improves communication between the nerves and muscles and prevent injuries in the elderly. The workouts are also popular among athletes looking for better knee stability. Your physiotherapist may also recommend balance exercises to aid recovery after an injury. Standard physio balance workouts include:
• Single-Leg Balance – Involves standing on one leg with your arms extended and attempting to maintain the position/balance for one minute. You can stand for extended periods as your balance improves.
• Single-Leg Pillow Balance – This exercise is similar to the single-leg balance but is more challenging, includes a pillow. It involves standing on one leg on a pillow with arms stretched and maintaining the posture for at least a minute.
• Heel-Toe Walk – To achieve this routine, walk slowly in a straight line, placing one foot down. Next, place the other foot in front of the planted foot. The heel (of the front foot) should be to the toe (of the rear foot).
Range of Motion Exercises
The range of motion pertains to joint movement from a fully flexed position to a fully extended position. Each person has a unique amount of joint movement, and physiotherapists aim to help you achieve a normal range of motion. You’ll encounter three types of physiotherapy exercises designed to improve your range of motion: passive, active, and active-assisted.
• Passive Exercises – Passive range of motion exercises are performed when you are still and for those unable to move their limb. The physiotherapist will move your limb along the joint range in your resting position, aiming to restore the full range of motion.
• Active Exercises – Active range of motion exercises may not need physiotherapist assistance and suit those who can move their limbs freely without pain. You can achieve the movement in a resting position or motion, depending on the targeted joint.
• Active-Assertive Exercises – This option falls in the middle-ground between passive and active workouts. Although you can move your limb and joint, the physiotherapist will help complete the motion along the targeted joint to help get end range of motion.
Physiotherapists can recommend range of motion exercises targeting various body parts. Popular workouts are for the neck, shoulder, and legs, but you can improve the range of motion for any joint.
Strength and Stretch Exercises
Your physiotherapist will recommend strengthening exercises to give your muscles optimal muscle strength. These workouts are essential in preventing injuries and aiding recovery if your muscles haven’t moved in a while after injury. Strengthening exercises often involve high repetitions and low resistance endurance training.
The physiotherapist may also recommend fewer repetitions and high resistance training with weight loads. Each program has unique goals, such as core stability, muscle growth, stabilization, and more. You can perform strength exercises hands-free or using body weight. Added resistance through dumbbells, elastic bands, and pulley systems may also be necessary.
Stretching exercises aim to improve flexibility. The workouts require an experienced physiotherapist to ensure perfect form, alignment, and compensation. You should also breathe when stretching to relax the muscles and minimize resistance. The moves involve holding a position for several minutes.
If you use physiotherapy to recover from an injury, your therapist may prescribe specific movements for everyday practice. Functional exercises are simple maneuvers you can complete at home, work, or in your sport. Make sure you follow the physiotherapist’s instructions and schedules to avoid re-injury and maximize recovery.
Functional physiotherapy workouts may involve resistance using elastic bands, gravity, body weight, and lightweights. You can also achieve hands-free exercise without any equipment or resistance. Each workout targets specific muscles and objectives, so there’s no one-fit-for-all solution. Don’t forget to involve an experienced physiotherapist in case of any discomfort.
At the Stittsville Sport Physio, we provide experience, evidence-based, informed practices, and one-on-one care. Our physiotherapists have many years of experience and follow guidelines regulated by the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario. We will complete a comprehensive assessment of your injury and goals to establish the best routine for a swift recovery.