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7 Self-Administered Physiotherapy Techniques for Patients with Reduced Mobility

Staying active is an incredible challenge for people with reduced mobility. You should remember that any progress is still progress. If you have reduced mobility that limits you to bed or a wheelchair, your achievements may look vastly different from someone who has good overall health and works out in a gym.  

Self-administered physiotherapy empowers you to regain your independence even if your mobility is limited. DIYing your PT is more than just a set of exercises. It’s a pathway to self-reliance that makes you an active participant in your own recovery.

We understand that living with limited mobility can make you feel very dependent on others. The self-administered physiotherapy exercises in this article are important because they can put you in the driving seat of your life, help enhance mobility and create a stronger sense of well-being.

By taking charge of your health, you can push the boundaries that help improve your physical state. Read on to learn how you can stay healthy and active even with limited mobility.

Embracing Self-Administered Home Physiotherapy

At Clearcut Physiotherapy, self-administered home exercises are rooted in patient education. Our physios empower you to understand and respect your physical limits while performing exercises safely.

Here’s what makes our DIY physiotherapy programs stand out:

  • Patient education: It’s key for you to know your own abilities and boundaries. That means being in tune with yourself and safety guidelines so you can exercise without risking injury.
  • Strength, flexibility and circulation: All exercises are tailored to enhance these three key areas. Your needs as someone with reduced mobility are unique. That’s why customisation is key to PT effectiveness and safety.
  • Empowerment: Taking control of your recovery is a huge confidence boost. It puts you in the right mindset for holistically healing and amplifies PT’s benefits.

We help you safely improve your mobility and overall health by integrating these components into your personalised at-home PT regimen.

7 Self-Administered Physiotherapy Techniques for Patients with Reduced Mobility

Self-administered physiotherapy offers you a proactive approach towards your health. It’s designed just for you and keeps your individual needs at its core. The intensity of each exercise can be tailored to better suit your endurance and capacity for mobility.

If you’re just starting out, we highly recommend getting guidance from our experienced physiotherapist. We can provide home visits as well to make sure you perform each exercise correctly and safely.

Here are seven DIY exercises to do at home even if your mobility is limited: 

1.   Core Strengthening Exercises

Seated abdominal bracing is a simple core exercise that involves sitting upright and tightening the abdominal muscles as though bracing for a gentle punch to the stomach. Hold the contraction for a few seconds and release.

You can also try lifting your legs off the ground or elevating your knees slightly while balancing yourself only on your hips or adding hands as well to increase base of support.

This technique is useful for building core strength which is pivotal for balance and mobility. This exercise is especially great for those regaining mobility if you’ve just had surgery or an injury. Seated abdominal bracing helps you develop stronger core strength.

2.   Upper Body Strengthening

Armchair push-ups are great at promoting upper body endurance and muscle tone. It helps you engage upper body muscles in a safe and controlled way. If you’re wheelchair-bound or have limited lower body strength then this is a perfect exercise. It’s also helpful if you struggle while transferring from a chair to a bed. Here’s how to do one:

Push down on the armrests of a chair and lift your body. Remember, it’s okay if you manage to lift yourself even slightly. This exercise can be modified by adjusting the amount of body weight you use or the speed of execution.

You can straighten your legs to add more weight naturally. Try doing it on the ground as well by pushing off of dumbbells because that’s safer than a chair, which can move and cause a fall.

3.   Lower Body Strengthening:

Seated leg lifts are excellent for activating your thigh and calf muscles. They also help enhance leg strength and promote venous return.  It’s particularly useful for facilitating gradual muscle rebuilding by improved circulation and muscle activation.

If you’re recovering from a lower limb surgery or stroke, give this exercise a go:

Sit on the edge of a bed or in a chair. Extend one leg at a time straight out in front of you while seated. Hold your leg in the air for a few seconds before slowly lowering it back down. For a more challenging workout, add a light ankle weight, lift both legs, or increase the holding time.

4.   Flexibility and Range of Motion

Reduced mobility forces you to spend a lot of time sitting or lying down. Gaining flexibility and improving your range of motion is crucial to enhance your overall mobility.

Here’s how you can gently work on these areas:

Simple neck and shoulder stretches can make a big difference in how your neck and shoulders feel. You can do these by gently tilting your head toward each shoulder, holding for a few seconds and then rotating your shoulders slowly in circles. These movements help loosen up the stiffness in your neck and shoulders.

Promoting blood flow is essential when you’re sitting or lying down a lot. Ankle circles or ankle pumps are great for keeping your ankles and feet supple and preventing swelling. Perform this simple exercise by rotating your ankles in circles and then moving your feet up and down as if pressing and releasing a pedal.

5.   Balance and Coordination

Seated marching is a great exercise for maintaining your coordination and keeping your muscles ready for more challenging tasks. This exercise helps engage your core and leg muscles. To increase your balance and coordination while seated, simply ‘march’ in place mimicking walking while sitting.

6.   Relaxation and Breathing Techniques

Deep breathing plays a huge role in your physical therapy. You can help your body relax by focusing on taking deep slow breaths. Guided deep breathing is great for reducing your stress levels and increasing the oxygen flow to your muscles.

Enhanced oxygenation improves the effectiveness of your exercises and aids in your recovery. Integrate deep breathing exercises into your routine to make your physiotherapy sessions more calming and beneficial.

7.   Respiratory Physiotherapy

This sub-speciality of PT helps keep your airways clear especially when mobility is limited. It includes techniques to help you cough up excess mucus from your lungs and airways. It’s crucial for preventing secondary complications after surgery or stroke.

Respiratory PT helps you to breathe better lying down and reduces the effort it takes you to breathe.

Sometimes, we use special devices to assist you in respiratory PT. Our physiotherapists are trained to help you maintain better respiratory health and teach you ways to keep your airway open.

Image Alt Text	Patient testimonial for rehab at Clearcut Physiotherapy in London.

Creating a Routine

We get it, exercising regularly can be tough, especially at home. That’s why establishing a well-structured routine is key to recovery. Try integrating exercises into your everyday life to see faster,  tangible improvements.

We’ll give you three solid reasons to motivate you to adhere to your PT plan:

  • Consistency is key: Regularly performing your exercises helps develop muscle memory and strength.
  • Daily habits: Integrating exercises into your daily routine builds discipline. This helps you stay on track with your recovery goals.
  • Sense of progress: A routine offers a structured approach to your day. It’s great for building stability and making your way toward improvement.

Monitoring Progress and Adjusting Techniques

Monitoring your progress is how you see how far you’ve come and what adjustments should be made. Your body’s responses and progress are how you can tailor your exercise routine to better suit you.

Regularly evaluate your strength and mobility gains to measure progress. It’s also the best way to keep up your motivation. As you improve you can increase the difficulty level of your exercises to continue building strength and flexibility.

Seeking guidance from our expert physiotherapists helps you keep all your exercises aligned with your current abilities and recovery objectives. We help you make responsive adjustments by modifying your routine based on your body’s feedback.

Your next steps

Congratulations! You’ve learned seven crucial DIY exercises to do at home. These can be a game-changer for you even if you have reduced mobility. By doing these exercises regularly you can make huge strides toward moving and feeling better.

Staying active and following your exercise routine builds up your resilience and keeps your spirits high.

Ready to start but feeling a bit unsure? Our Eltham, Battersea and Norbury clinics are here for you. We’re excited to help you gain more independence and enjoy a better quality of life.

So why wait? Get in touch with us and take the next step in your physiotherapy journey today.

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