Crutches are designed to help keep weight off of your lower body following injury or a surgical procedure. Depending on type of injury or procedure you had, you may be a crutches for a few weeks or possibly a few months. Once you have mastered the basics of walking on crutches, you may even be inclined to want to exercise. Exercise can help your body heal more quickly as well as help you to maintain your muscle strength. With the permission of your doctor, there are plenty of exercises you can complete while using crutches.
Get up and walk around. The simple use of your crutches can be a workout in themselves. Walking on crutches can elevate your heart rate as well as help you to build upper body strength. Walk around the house or have a friend take you to a mall or another open space to walk around.
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Perform ankle pumps, provided you are not in a cast that prevent you from moving your ankle. Sit with your foot and ankle hanging over the edge of your bed or couch. Slowly move your ankle up and down. This will help to increase your range of motion and keep your legs strong as you recover. Complete three sets of 20 repetitions throughout the day.
Complete straight leg raises. Lie on your back to that you healthy leg is bent at the knee with your foot flat on the ground. Your injured leg should be extended -- as far as possible -- with your heel touching the ground. Slowly raise your leg off the ground or bed. Try to raise your leg a foot off of the ground without bending your knee. Hold this position for a count of 5 seconds. Lower and repeat. Complete one set of 10 repetitions, three times per day.
Strengthen your quadriceps and hamstrings. Lie on your bed or on the floor with your legs extended fully in front of you so that your heels are touching the ground. To strengthen your quadriceps, simply squeeze your thigh muscles together. Hold this position for a few seconds, relax and repeat one set of 10 repetitions, three times per day. To strengthen your hamstrings, bend your knees up slightly while pushing your heels into the floor or bed. Hold this position for a few seconds, relax and repeat. Complete one set of 10 repetitions, three times per day.
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Tips and Warnings
Before exercising while on crutches, be sure to move all loose objects out of the way. Rugs, electrical wires or any other objects that may be on your floors should be removed as a safety precaution
Should you experience pain or fall while exercising on crutches, discontinue exercise an contact your doctor immediately.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: How to Use Crutches, Walkers and Canes
Ohio Health: Crutch Walking and Exercises
Article reviewed by Jenna Marie Last updated on: Feb 6, 2011
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/374825-how-to-exercise-on-crutches/#ixzz1h3UZ8T99