Exercises to address common musculoskeletal problems

Types of range of motion exercises
1. Passive – force for moving the joint comes from outside the joint (another person, another part of the body)
2. Active assisted – part of the force for moving the joint comes from the affected joint, and the rest comes from outside.
3. Active – force for moving the joint comes from the muscles surrounding the joint

Ankle –

Flexibility

Achilles tendon
1. Stand on ball of feet on step
2. Lower yourself, stretching Achilles tendons
3. Do it with one or two feet

Strengthening

Ankle/Posterior tibialis –
1. Draw the alphabet with your toes
2. Draw the alphabet with your toes while you have a towel or physical therapy band around foot and held in hands or tied to table legs or other fixed spot.
3. Increase the resistance of the bands.
4. Hold each move in making the letter for several seconds.

Leg

Knee/Quadriceps –
Vastus medialis – terminal knee extension, especially during lunges

Elbow

Flexibility
Common extensor tendon (lateral epicondylitis – golfer’s elbow)
1. Extend wrist on affected side
2. Slowly and forcibly flex wrist with opposite hand
3. This stretches painful common extensor tendon and eccentrically stresses muscles

Common flexor tendon (medial epicondylitis – tennis elbow)
1. Flex wrist on affected side
2. Slowly and forcibly extend wrist with opposite hand
3. This stretches painful common flexor tendon and eccentrically stresses muscles

Strengthening – hold weights in hands and do full range of motion (flexion, extension, radial  and ulnar deviation). Increase weights and duration over time.

Shoulder

Flexibility
1. The Rod – Hold a rod in the unaffected hand and grasp the rod with the hand of the affected shoulder. Move the rod with the good hand through the entire range of motion of the good shoulder. This will force the affected shoulder through its full range of motion passively.

2 Wall walking – place fingertips of the affected arm against wall. Begin walking with fingers up the wall as far as pain and range of motion allow. Do this facing the wall and again with shoulder perpendicular to it until you achieve full and pain free range of motion.

Strengthening

Supraspinatus –
1.  Pendant external rotation – sitting or standing, against resistance (early static, later with movement)
2. External rotation while lying prone or on side against resistance
3. Prone shoulder extension at 90 degrees abduction

Scapular stabilizers
1. Prone row with scapular pinch (try to pinch a pencil between your shoulder blades)
2. Chair press ups – Lift yourself up out of a chair by pressing on the arm rests and lifting.
3. Latissimus pull downs
4. Shoulder shrugs
5. Seated row with scapular pinch

Leave a Reply