As we get older and our aches and pains become more severe, we look to physical therapists to help get us feeling better. Exercises that help our bodies heal and regain a full range of motion are instrumental to the recovery process. But with at-risk populations still being encouraged to stay home, not everyone can make regular appointments with a physical therapist when they need them. And while your retirement community may very well have a physical therapist on staff, perhaps you’re looking to do some exercises on your own time. Fortunately, there are physical therapy techniques you can do at home in lieu of meeting with a physical therapist. These exercises and devices will help you recover from your injuries from the comfort of your own home so that you can stay strong and stay safe.
Towels and Toes
If you’ve logged a lot of hard miles over the years or you’ve just been spending too much time on your feet, you may find yourself with a painful case of plantar fasciitis. A simple drill involving towels and your toes is a great way to alleviate some of the pain you’re experiencing. By curling your toes around a hand towel and bringing it toward your heel, you can begin to strengthen your foot and counteract the effects of plantar fasciitis. Check out videos about the “towel scrunch drill” and how this easy exercise can be of use.
Self-Administer Ultrasound for Muscle Injuries
Physical therapists have made use of the healing benefits of ultrasonic waves on soft tissue for years. By applying a transducer to the affected area, ultrasound promotes increased blood flow to the site of a wound, which encourages and expedites the healing process. This service has generally been unavailable due to the closure or reduced hours of so many physical therapy offices during the pandemic. Newly approved devices allow you to use ultrasound therapy to manage these small strains, sprains, and tears at home with an ultrasound device in the palm of your hand.
You don’t need liquid nitrogen to engage in the healing powers of cryotherapy—ice will do just fine. One of the physical therapy techniques you can do at home involves strategic ice placement on affected areas to reduce swelling and pain. Frozen water bottles and paper cups make useful alternatives to simple ice packs when it comes to home cryotherapy. Cold, like heat and motion, can be an excellent way to treat nagging injuries that limit mobility and comfort.