Blogs from February, 2021


Do-it-Yourself Physical Therapy Tips

If you have recently suffered from an injury and need to improve your body’s function, you might have been referred to a physical therapist. Patients often see physical therapists in order to help them reduce pain, avoid invasive surgery, enhance mobility, and improve recovery from strokes. A physical therapist will work to understand your current condition and create a customized treatment program to help you restore your range of motion and strengthen your body.

Physical therapists have equipment in their clinics that can be utilized to maximize your program. This equipment includes bikes, treadmills, and ultrasound technology. Your physical therapist can also implement manual techniques like massages, soft-tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, and muscle energy techniques. However, an important part of a physical therapy plan is an at-home exercise program. In the age of COVID-19, being able to perform physical therapy exercises at home has become even more important. The types of exercises you should do at home will depend on what injuries you are working to treat and what your individual goals for your body are. Here are some of the most popular at-home physical therapy treatment areas, as well as some ideas for how you can do them on your own:

  • Stretching

This is, by far, one of the simplest ways to implement physical therapy techniques into your everyday routine. Not only can stretching help to reduce pain, but it can also make muscle contractions more efficient and release entrapped nerves. Some of the best stretches you can do at home include:

  • Hamstring stretch
  • Standing hip flexor
  • Piriformis stretch
  • Corner stretch
  • Modified child’s pose stretch
  • Cross-body stretch
  • Calf stretch
  • Levator scapulae stretch
  • Bow and arrow stretch
  • Pillowcase stretch
  • Resistance training

Even at home, patients are prioritizing exercises that build their strength and endurance. This is good news because strength training is known to reduce musculoskeletal pain. What is even better is that there are so many resistance training exercises that can be performed in the comfort of your own home. If you do not have free weights, weight machines, or resistance bands at home, feel free to use your own body weight as a form of resistance. Your own body can actually be a powerful way to make your muscles work against a weight. With the guidance of a physical therapist, some at-home resistance training exercises you can do that do not require equipment are:

  • Bodyweight squats
  • Lunge dips
  • Side plank
  • Push-up
  • Glute bridge
  • Air swimming
  • Single-leg triceps dip
  • Superman punch
  • Burpees
  • Burpees with push-ups
  • Burpees with mountain climbers
  • Rope climb crunches
  • Bulgarian split squat to decline push-up
  • Bulgarian split squat
  • Plank with single leg raise
  • Runner’s crunch
  • Bodyweight ski jumps
  • Core stability training

Your core muscles play a major role in supporting your body’s everyday activities. Having solid core strength will help prevent injuries, protect your inner organs and central nervous system, help prevent back and neck pain, and help you achieve a strong posture. Weaker core muscles are correlated with greater instances of fatigue, decreased endurance, and injuries. However, despite the importance of a strong core, it is also essential that you do not over-exert your core. A physical therapist can help create an individualized strengthening plan with exercises that will work for you. Some popular at-home core strengthening exercises are:

  • Plank
  • Plank tap
  • Abdominal crunch
  • Bicycle crunch
  • Hip dip
  • Leg raise
  • Tabletop leg press
  • Bridge exercise
  • Wheelbarrow
  • C-curve
  • Panther shoulder tap
  • Jackknife
  • Hollow hold to jackknife
  • Single-leg jackknife
  • Hollow body rock
  • Rolling like a ball
  • Butterfly sit-up
  • High boat to low boat
  • Body saw
  • Side bend

To learn more about at-home physical therapy options and how they can benefit you, call ProFysio Physical Therapy at (732) 812-5200 or contact us online.