5 Exercises for New Amputees

5 Exercises for New Amputees

Learning to use a prosthesis takes time and practice. Working with a physical therapist is an excellent way to build stronger muscles and develop good walking habits. Often, patients are encouraged to practice exercises at home. Try these simple exercises can help maximize your balance and confidence with your new prosthesis.

1. Forward-backward and side-to-side balance

Stand between two chairs (or similar objects), with each hand placed on the back of one chair with your feet 2-4 inches apart. Shift your body forward and backward with your feet firmly on the ground, starting with small movements, but increasing them slowly and steadily. Do this several times, until you become comfortable with the motion and then remove the unaffected-side hand from the back of the chair and perform the movement.  Finally, do the same without holding onto the chairs

2. Side-to-side balance

Stand between two chairs (or similar objects), with each hand placed on the back of one chair. Make sure that your feet are 2-4 inches apart from each other. Now simply shift your body weight from one side to another (for instance, left to right). Do this several times, until you become comfortable with the motion and then remove the unaffected-side hand from the back of the chair and perform the movement. Finally, do the same without holding onto the chair

3. Side step

Start by standing on one side of a table, facing it. Place both of your hands on it (for support). Now side-step to the side without the prosthesis and then step with your prosthesis.

4. Balancing on one limb

Once you feel at ease maintaining your balance and sharing your weight between legs while standing on both feet, you should start making an effort to stand on the prosthetic limb alone comfortably. Place a step stool in front of your unaffected limb and stand between a pair of chairs, placing your hands on their backs. Next, with your sound leg, step onto the stool. Do this several times, until you become comfortable with the motion and then remove the unaffected-side hand from the back of the chair and perform the movement (stepping on a stool) again. Finally, do the same without holding onto the chairs.

5. Braiding

While standing, cross your prosthetic limb in front of the unaffected side. Next, bring the unaffected limb from behind and return to the original position, making sure your feet are comfortably apart. Next, do the same, but this time moving the unaffected limb in front of the prosthetic one. If you are having trouble balancing, rotate your trunk. Try moving sideways as you do this and increase your speed steadily.

Try each exercise several times a day. You may notice different sensations and pressures on your limb when you perform these exercises, this is normal.  Contact your physical therapist or prosthetist if you have any questions, significant pain or notice any skin irritation lasting longer than 15 minutes after completing the exercises.


P and O Care

P&O Care is a team of health care professionals whose mission is to improve the quality of life of our patients by consistently providing patient focused, value driven solutions through the innovative design, fabrication and fitting of the highest quality custom prosthetic and orthotic devices.