People who use wheelchairs because of various ailments face quite a number of challenges which often include joint deterioration and muscle atrophy. These challenges can lead to some changes in the body that might not be reversible, which further complicates the mobility of an individual because it causes new health risks. But when a professional physical therapist steps in and conducts regular body-exercises, most of these issues can be avoided.
Physical therapy has advanced over the years, and most people who spend time in wheelchairs are given the opportunity to live active and full lives. There are some simple exercises that one can perform at home to help increase the mobility and build the strength of the upper body.
Some of the physical therapy body-exercises you can do are listed below; these body-exercises can help to ensure that your muscles take a break from the hard work they have been doing throughout the day. Your joints will also have time to relax, while strengthening weakened muscles. Such kinds of exercises will make daily activities like working at the office, climbing stairs, and squatting much easier. The routine we are going to look at will help you to build core strength in problem areas before starting an active exercise regimen.
When you are doing these body-exercises, your body has to be in good alignment, and you need to perform the exercise with full range of motion to isolate and strengthen specific muscle groups that are being targeted. Since these body-exercises are focused, you will likely feel muscular fatigue in some areas, but you won’t experience the general fatigue you usually feel when going through a gym workout regime.
Before you start these body-exercises, consult with your healthcare provider or doctor and follow their recommendations.
Back stretching exercises
You can restore hip and spinal muscle balance as you relieve muscular tensions with these body-exercises. You will also work on your abdominal muscles and hamstrings to improve your flexibility in specific muscle groups and reduce the strain exerted on your spine. This exercise will keep your muscles relaxed and comfortable.
Start by grabbing the back of your right knee and pull it towards the chest. Keep your sacrum or tailbone in contact with the floor. Stay in position for 5-10 seconds, repeating the routine 2 or 3 times.
While lying on your back, cross the right ankle over the left knee and using your hand, push the right knee down to feel the stretch. Stay in this position for 5-10 seconds, repeating the routine 2 or 3 times.
As you lie on your back, grab the back of the right knee and pull the right leg to stretch. Your knee can bend a little, but keep your tailbone on the floor. Keep the right knee straight, and flex the back of the foot to stretch even further.
As you lie with your tummy in contact with the floor, keep your abs firm, and place your hand right under your shoulders for an abdominal stretch. Press up with your hands gently to stretch your abs.
Back rotator stretch
Stretch your arms up while lying on your back. Fold your legs with your knees pointing upwards and lower them slowly towards the left. Feel the stretch up your spine and repeat the process three times in each direction.
Reach your arms slightly to the left and hold as you lower the position to the right. Repeat three times on each side. The stretch should be felt from the shoulder blades to the back.
Side stretch for quadrants lumborum and lattisimus dorsi
While seated in an upright posture, lift the right hand up and bend it to the left while the arm is straight. Let the heel of your arm reach up with your fingers pointing inward. As you hold this position, bend your torso to the right through the spine. Let your left hand work as a support for the chair. The stretch should be felt on the side of your back starting from the armpit to the side of the lower back.
Exercises for lower back pain
Slight spinal movements and stretches are combined in a routine to release discomfort and stress on your spine. You can use cat and camel exercises, press ups, abdominal stretches, and gentle stretches on the hips to relieve the pain on the back. Some of the body-exercises you can use are as described below.
Cat camel exercise
Arch your back up like an angry cat and increase the arching while you inhale deeply. Exhale and tighten your abs. Drop the chest and lift your head so that your eyes can see slightly ahead. Repeat this sequence ten times. This exercise works to stretch the connective tissue that is close to the nerve branches that originate from the spine.
Knee to chest
While resting on your back, and your sacrum or tailbone is on the floor, fold your knee and pull it towards your chest. Hold for 5 sec and repeat the cycle three times.
Ankle over knee
On the same resting position as the “knee to the chest,” take your left ankle and place it on the right knee. Using your left arm, push the knee down while the tailbone is on the floor. Hold the position for 5 seconds and repeat the cycle three times.
While standing up and with one foot a meter in front of the other, lunge as you maintain an upright position. Maintain even hips and avoid leaning forward. Do not twist and be sure to ensure that your abs are held to avoid the back from arching. Stay in this position for 10 seconds, and repeat it three times each on both legs.
Lower back pain relief
To avoid lower back pains and to relieve its symptoms, follow the steps below.
Use the proper desk ergonomics
The top line of the text on your screen should be close to your eye level. Your elbows should be bent 90 degrees to your keyboard for you to rest at the back of your chair. Ensure your pelvis is bent forward. Ensure your lift is lifted for your back not to say round. Gaze forward for the neck to be well aligned with the body.
Use pillows when you are sleeping
If you prefer sleeping facing up, use place two pillows under the knees, and one under the head. If you like sleeping on your sides, place a pillow between your knees, and one under your head.
For more information, call Focus Physiotherapy today at (256) 883-0636 or contact us here.