Q:

What are some good physical therapy exercises for bedridden patients?

A:

Some good physical therapy exercises for bedridden patients include isometric exercises, and simple exercises to strengthen the arms and legs, according to CancerSupportiveCare.com and Cruces University Hospital. A doctor or physical therapist should be consulted first about what exercises may be performed, according to HowStuffWorks.

Exercising while bedridden lowers the risk of such complications as bed sores, blood clots, bone deterioration and muscle weakness, according to CancerSupportiveCare.com. The patient can start out with isometric exercises, which simply contract muscles. Examples of these exercises include holding the leg straight, tightening the buttocks and holding in the stomach for 6 seconds before releasing.

The patient should exercise carefully and slowly, ceasing exercise if he or she experiences pain or becomes tired, according to Cruces University Hospital. Exercises should be performed three to four times each day, repeating the exercise five to 10 times per session. Arms can be exercised by the patient stretching his or her arms out, raising them above the head for 5 seconds and lowering them to the starting position. Legs can be exercised by the patient raising one straight leg while the other is bent, as the patient lies face-up in bed. An easier method is to place a cushion below the patient's knees so that the patient can press his or her knees into the pillow for 5 seconds before releasing.

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