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Thursday, September 3, 2015

When a cast is finally removed from an injured limb or joint, it’s not the end of your healing process. 

The healed limb still needs to regain the strength and range of motion it could not exercise while in the cast. Fortunately, there are many exercises that can help an arm, leg, or knee regain its full functioning movement. Here are a few to help you get started.

Standing Y

This exercise is used most often after a forearm fracture. During this exercise, the patient stands with their feet apart and their knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in an overhand grip while their arms are straight. Then, using the muscles in their core and bending their elbows slightly, lift the weights upward with thumbs are pointing Raise the dumbbells to shoulder height, pause, then slowly lower them to the start position. You might need time to ease into this one, but once you do it, you’ll be able to regain all movement more quickly. Doing yoga poses like tree, mountain and chair can also help you align your core and arms.

Straight Leg Raise

This is an exercise used to strengthen the knee after a fracture. During the exercise, the patient sits up straight on the floor with their legs stretched out. 

Tighten the quadriceps of one leg as much as possible. This causes the knee to straighten out fully. Then, the leg is rotated at a 45 degree angle while the quadriceps are still tight and the knee is straight. The leg is then lifted from 8 to 12 inches from the floor. The patient holds the leg, then slowly lowers it to the start position. The exercise is repeated on the other leg even if uninjured.

While the leg or knee is healing, take advantage of a KneeRover scooter, which can help with mobility while taking weight off the injury. This way, even as you try to move the leg more, you can rest more easily and continue healing at an even rate.

Yoga poses to help your legs here would be warrior one and two, as well as various triangle poses.


Squats help regain strength after a lower leg fracture. During a squat, begin by standing with arms straight out in front and legs about hip-width apart. Then take a breath, look straight ahead, and bend at the knees and hips while easing the hips backward and keeping the spine neutral. Squat until thighs are parallel to the floor. Then, return to the start position without bouncing. Many yoga moves are similar to a squat and can be gentler on an injured body. Find a professional who can help you discover exercises perfectly suited to your situation. You might also try balancing exercises here like crane or wheel to align your body more and increase overall strength.

These exercises are often combined with others such as stationery bicycling or deep water running, and therapies such as electrotherapy. The goal is for the patient to be able to return to daily activities without pain. This is obtainable for most people who keep to a schedule of rehabilitation.


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