What are Different Physiotherapy Exercises?

Patti Kate

Physiotherapy exercises are typically used as a means to strengthen tendons and other structures or to restore flexibility to any particular area of the body. There are a number of exercises and stretches designed for therapeutic benefits, and these target various areas of the body. These techniques include foot physiotherapy exercises, knee physiotherapy exercises, back physiotherapy exercises and exercises for the shoulder, neck and hand. All of these have specific purposes, and several exercises can be designated to improve function within certain locations.

A physiotherapy session.
A physiotherapy session.

In a regimen that targets the hand, the specialist might prescribe exercises that include grasping and manipulating small objects with the fingers. Pegs are commonly used in this exercise. Often, this requires the patient to repeatedly place these pegs into a slot. This is performed as a means of strengthening the finger joints through what could be described as a manipulation technique. In the course of physiotherapy exercises, other hand techniques might include squeezing a palm-sized ball or making a fist and releasing it in a series of what are known as 'sets.'

Physiotherapy exercises for the hand might include squeezing a palm-sized ball.
Physiotherapy exercises for the hand might include squeezing a palm-sized ball.

Problems within the foot or ankle that could require physiotherapy exercises can be addressed through various techniques as well. One such method might involve the patient balancing on the heels, then moving forward on the toes in a repetitive set. Resistant bands are often used for therapeutic techniques, and often these will be implemented as part of a physiotherapy exercise program for stretching the foot.

The shoulders are also a common area where physiotherapy exercises might be performed. Shoulder shrugs and rolling the shoulders in a backward motion several times are exercises that might be recommended by the therapist. Stretching the arm by inching it up alongside of the wall as far as possible and holding the stretch for several seconds is another way to help flexibility within the shoulder and upper arm.

Occasionally, objects can be incorporated into shoulder exercises. Using a cane or broom handle while stretching sideways is sometimes recommended to help loosen overworked tendons. A 2-pound hand weight can also be used as the patient is lying on her back. This exercise is done by extending the affected arm upward while locking the elbow, then lowering it slightly downward to a set of 20 repetitions.

Another common form of physiotherapy exercises involves isometrics. These might include pushing backward against or away from the wall while the individual uses a hand or entire forearm as a foundation. Generally, this form of physiotherapy exercise is more easily comprehended by visualization, or by the instructor actually demonstrating it.

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