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The different types of exercises in physiotherapy

A home exercise program will inevitably be part of the treatment plan in physiotherapy. Exercises have been proven to be an extremely important modality in the management of many musculoskeletal conditions. A detailed and personalized program developed by your physiotherapist will help target the right goals and prevent injuries. It should include different types of exercises geared towards the impairments observed in your specific condition. Also, make sure to use the correct exercises in physiotherapy parameters (number of sets/repetitions, number of times per day/week, duration, rhythm, resistance level).

Mobility exercises have two goals: lubricate joint surfaces and increase or maintain range of motion. They are repeated movements of a segment of the body up to the maximum range of motion allowed.

Exercices types

The stretching exercises are done in order to improve flexibility. The goal is to pull away the origin and insertion of the muscle in question in order to stretch it. In order for these exercises to be effective, it is important to align the segments of the body involved by correcting the compensations. It is also important to exhale well to help the muscle relax and thus minimize its resistance. The stretching positions are maintained for a long time and for a small number of repetitions.

Strengthening exercises can improve strength, endurance or muscle power. They can be addressed to two different types of muscles: mobilizing muscles or stabilizers. Reinforcement can be done without a load (hands free) or using dumbbells, elastic bands, pulley systems, your own body weight, etc.

Proprioception exercises are indicated when there is a decreasing ability to know where the body is in space (position) or how the body moves in space (movement). For example, the practice of balance on one leg improves the sense of position of the lower limb. An exercise where you have to draw the letters of the alphabet with the end of the trained limb could be recommended to improve the direction of movement.

Functional exercises are prescribed to practice an everyday life movement which is difficult after your injury. If indicated, the physiotherapist may ask you to practice a specific movement that you perform at work, at home or in your sport.

Cardio-vascular exercises, such as stationary biking, walking, running, elliptical and swimming, are indicated to regain your previous level of effort. Yoga is also an activity that leads to cardiovascular health, as well as flexibility, strength, mobility and proprioception.

Your physiotherapist will teach you how to perform the different types of exercises in physiotherapy and will ensure that progression is done properly.