Physical therapy and rehabilitation often use physical exercises. Physical exercises can be used to support physical therapy applications such as traction, heat and cold applications, and electrotherapy applications in the physical therapy and rehabilitation process. It can be applied in the treatment of diseases such as pain problems, sports injuries, Parkinson’s, rheumatic diseases, stroke, fractures, neck and back herniated discs.
What Are The Exercise Applications In Physical Therapy And Rehabilitation?
Exercises are applied to increase the effectiveness of various treatment methods. It is aimed to reduce the movement restriction of the tissues by ensuring that patients do regular exercise.
There are various exercises that are performed with the accompaniment of expert physiotherapists, and in cases where necessary, patients can also apply them on their own.
Different exercise applications such as passive, active, or assistive can be performed according to the patient’s condition. The aforementioned exercise applications are divided into different classes:
- Joint range of motion exercises
- Strengthening exercises
- Balance and coordination exercises
- Stretching and flexibility exercises
- Aquatic exercises
The exercises in question are individually determined by a specialist physiotherapist according to the condition of the patient and the disease. Therefore, they should only be performed as recommended by the physiotherapist.
Joint Range Of Motion Exercises
Such exercises are performed manually or with the help of various devices after injury or surgery. It is aimed to contract the muscles along the joint in areas where movement is restricted. The benefits of such exercises are as follows:
- The sustainability of the contractility and flexibility of muscles,
- The stimulation of bone and joint integrity,
- Increased blood circulation and prevention of blood clots that may occur in deep veins,
- Receiving sensory feedback from the contracted muscles,
- The development of motor skills and coordination for functional activities.
Exercises to increase muscle strength are divided into three as progressive resistance weight exercises, isokinetic exercises and isometric exercises. Progressive resistance weight exercises are performed with regularly increasing weights.
In this way, muscle fibres grow and muscles become stronger. Isometric exercises or static exercises are exercises that do not require any movement and are usually performed based on anatomy knowledge.
The most well-known of these exercises are plank and back bridge. Isokinetic exercises are used in shoulder, wrist, elbow, hip and ankle rehabilitation. It has been reported that isokinetic applications heal diseases more quickly and reduce the likelihood of recurrence.
Balance And Coordination Exercises
Balance and co-ordination exercises help to achieve greater muscle strength. It also improves agility, flexibility and balance while increasing daily energy levels. It strengthens reflexes and stimulates the release of endorphins. Common balance and coordination exercises include jumping rope, balancing, ball throwing and dribbling.
Stretching And Flexibility Exercises
These exercise methods aim to increase the range of motion of the joints. Stretching and flexibility exercises are considered as part of the warm-up movements. Performing static stretching movements to cool the muscles after the exercises reduces the negative effects of problems such as muscle pain and stiffness. The risk of injury is reduced. At the same time, the risk of falling is reduced as the balance will improve.
Aquatic exercises can be called exercises using water. They are exercises performed in water in order to treat musculoskeletal system, nervous system, respiratory system and cardiovascular system problems. It is applied to eliminate physical disabilities. It is aimed to increase physical performance and muscle strength in patients with neurological and rheumatic diseases.
In order to prevent more serious health problems, all these exercise applications should be performed in the presence of a physiotherapist or as recommended by a physiotherapist.