Exercise is the body’s natural way of restoration to improve stability, mechanics, strength and movement to an injury. Whether the injury is from overuse, trauma, disease, or surgery exercises are necessary to restore function. To move around pain free, our bodies require our muscles, joints, and tendons to be strong and efficient. Exercise helps put through the required joint forces to restore joint nutrition and lubrication. Exercise builds up the necessary strength and endurance in muscles and tendons to function and do what you love to do. Muscles respond beautifully to exercise and regenerate very quickly. Exercise also helps bones recover by putting the appropriate forces through them at the correct times helps them recover quickly.
Our hand therapists (physiotherapists) use a number of different exercise techniques all of which are progressed as healing occurs.
Isometric Exercises – these are done while joints are healing. They allow force to go through the muscle, but no movement occurs which protects damaged structures and prevents the bad effects of non-use. These exercises are upgraded based on time they are held, and the resistance required. Usually starting at 20 seconds and building to 1 minute.
Eccentric Exercises – these exercises are done while lengthening the muscle contraction. This helps with the tendon cell regeneration and efficiency of muscle contraction. These exercises are graded by increasing the resistance put through muscle. Usually start with ½ kg weight or yellow resistance band.
Concentric Exercises – these exercises are done in the natural contraction of the muscle, that is into the shortened position. These are usually the last to be given as they can reproduce the pain if the muscle is not at the correct length. These exercises are graded by increasing the resistance put through muscle. Usually our hand treatment starts with ½ kg weight or yellow resistance band.
Aerobic Exercises – every individual is encouraged to continue with aerobic exercise. This can start by using our ergonomic upper body cycle or simply by using our step in the gym for three minutes. The benefit of aerobic exercise allows your natural endorphins to be released and your sense of wellbeing to improve.