Finally, the moment you've been waiting for has arrived. The doctor says your bone has healed, and it's time to get your cast off. But before you go out and celebrate with a strenuous workout, there are a few things you need to know. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may need to perform some physical therapy exercises to regain strength and range of motion to ease into regular activity again. In this blog post, we'll give you some tips on how to ease back into exercise after your cast comes off and recommend five exercises to try that will start strengthening your arm.
After you have had an arm cast removed, it’s important to begin physical therapy as soon as possible. Your arm will be weak from the lack of use and you will need to rebuild the muscle. Physical therapy can help improve the range of motion in your arm or wrist. It can also help reduce any pain or stiffness that you may be feeling. Typically, a therapist will work with you to create an individualized physical therapy plan. This plan may include exercises, stretches, and massages.
Ideally, you should wait until your doctor gives you the all-clear before starting to exercise again. Every person and every injury is different, so it's important to get the green light from your physician before resuming activity. Once you have the okay from your doctor, start slowly. Don't try to pick up where you left off pre-injury; instead, ease into things gradually.
In the early days of post-cast removal, focus on exercises that don't put too much stress on the affected area. Range-of-motion exercises are a great place to start. Once you've regained some mobility, start incorporating strength-training exercises into your routine. As always, listen to your body and don't push yourself too hard. And if something hurts, stop doing it!
Start slow and gradually increase the duration of your workouts as you feel more comfortable. When you first start out, aim for 10-15 minute sessions a few times per week. As you become more accustomed to exercise, you can increase the length and frequency of your workouts. Just be sure not to overdo it. Pushing yourself too hard too soon can lead to re-injury.
Keep Reading: How Does a Broken Bone Heal?
One of the first exercises you can do is wrist circles. This simple movement helps to loosen up your fingers and wrist after being in a position where they were unable to move for an extended period of time. To do wrist circles, simply hold out your arm in front of you with your palm facing down. Slowly make small circles with your wrist, moving both clockwise and counterclockwise.
Sit with your arm resting on a table in front of you, palm up. Use your other hand to gently bend your wrist back as far as it can go before returning it to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times. Then, flip your hand over so it is palm down and repeat the exercise.
The putty flexion squeeze exercise is a great way to help restore strength and range of motion to your hand after having a cast removed. To do the exercise, start by sitting at a table with a small ball of putty in your affected hand. Squeeze the putty with your fingers for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times. You should feel the muscles in your hand working as you squeeze the putty. This exercise is a great way to gradually regain strength and mobility in your hand after having a cast removed.
Start by standing about an arm's length away from a wall with feet shoulder-width apart. Place your palms on the wall at about chest height. Lean into the wall and bend your elbows until they're at a 90-degree angle, then push yourself back to the starting position. Repeat this 10 times.
One of the best ways to ease back into things is by using resistance bands. They're lightweight and easy to transport, so you can use them anywhere. Anchor the band around a sturdy object and stand with both feet on the center of the band. Then, holding the band with your palm facing up, curl your hand towards your shoulder until you feel a squeeze in your bicep. Return back to the starting position and repeat 10 times. As your muscles get stronger, you can move up to a heavier band. You can also use resistance bands for triceps kickbacks, shoulder presses, and chest flys.
Arm rehabilitation after cast removal doesn't have to be difficult or boring. There are plenty of different exercises you can do to regain muscle mass and strength. Just start slow at first and gradually increase the intensity as your muscles get stronger. And have fun with it! Mix things up and try different exercises to keep yourself motivated throughout the process.
Keep Reading: What to Expect Immediately After Cast Removal
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