Patient Education: Physical Therapy and Exercises for the Elbow

Physical Therapy and Exercises for the Elbow

You may be prescribed a number of physical therapy exercises. Physical therapy is simply an exercise program that gently stretches and strengthens specific muscles and joints. The exercises you may perform are gentle, range of motion (stretching) exercises designed to restore movement and strength to your joint and to promote blood flow for healing.

It is important to stay proactive in your physical therapy since it can have a direct impact on the total outcome of your surgery. Remember to stay diligent and don’t give up. Ask for help if you need it. Friends, family members, and even neighbors can be helpful during your recovery, especially if you ask for their assistance before your surgery.

Physical therapy is a very important role in the recovery process. A physical therapist may demonstrate a variety of low-impact exercises designed to increase the strength and mobility of your elbow joint. However, you should only perform the exercises that are ordered by your surgeon.

The following are examples of exercises that your surgeon may prescribe.

ONLY PERFORM THE EXERCISES PRESCRIBED BY YOUR DOCTOR


 

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Wrist Flexion Exercise: Hold a can or a one pound weight in your hand with your palm facing up. Bend your wrist upward. Slowly lower the weight and return to the starting position. Repeat the recommended number of times.

ALL EXERCISES SHOULD BE PERFORMED AS INSTRUCTED BY YOUR SURGEON, AFTER PROPER DEMONSTRATION BY A PHYSICAL THERAPIST.


 

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Wrist Extension Exercise: Hold a can or one pound weight in your hand with your palm facing down. Slowly bend your wrist upward. Slowly lower the weight down into the starting position. Repeat the recommended number of times.

ALL EXERCISES SHOULD BE PERFORMED AS INSTRUCTED BY YOUR SURGEON, AFTER PROPER DEMONSTRATION BY A PHYSICAL THERAPIST.


 

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Tubing Exercise for External Rotation: Stand resting the hand of your injured side against your stomach. With that hand grasp tubing that is connected to a doorknob or other object at waist level. Keeping your elbow in at your side, rotate your arm outward and away from your waist. Make sure you keep your elbow bent 90 degrees and your forearm parallel to the floor. Repeat the recommended number of times.

ALL EXERCISES SHOULD BE PERFORMED AS INSTRUCTED BY YOUR SURGEON, AFTER PROPER DEMONSTRATION BY A PHYSICAL THERAPIST.


 

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Forearm Pronation and Supination Strengthening: Hold a can or one pound weight in your hand and bend your elbow 90°. Slowly rotate your hand with your palm upward and then palm down. Repeat the recommended number of times.

ALL EXERCISES SHOULD BE PERFORMED AS INSTRUCTED BY YOUR SURGEON, AFTER PROPER DEMONSTRATION BY A PHYSICAL THERAPIST.


 

Elbow Flexion and Extension: Hold a can or a one pound weight with your palm face up. Slowly bend your elbow so that your hand is approaching your shoulder. Gently lower it slowly so your elbow is completely straight. Repeat the recommended number of times.

ALL EXERCISES SHOULD BE PERFORMED AS INSTRUCTED BY YOUR SURGEON, AFTER PROPER DEMONSTRATION BY A PHYSICAL THERAPIST.


ALL EXERCISES SHOULD BE PERFORMED AS INSTRUCTED BY YOUR SURGEON, AFTER PROPER DEMONSTRATION BY A PHYSICAL THERAPIST.

 

All patient education materials are provided by OrthoPatientEd.com and have been reviewed by our Advisory Board of leading Orthopedic Surgeons to ensure accuracy. All materials are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from your orthopedic surgeon. Any medical decisions should be made after consulting a qualified physician.
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