When a sports injury occurs, it needs to be seen to as soon as possible. Sports injuries left unattended tend to get worse, and long term consequences may result in a finger, a hand, an arm or a leg being weakened or even useless. The good news is that once the immediate injury is repaired, physical therapy does not have to be expensive. It is often something that the patient can do at home, without expensive equipment. Here are some low cost physical therapy solutions to help sports injuries heal:
Low Box Step Ups
These exercises are good for collateral ligament injuries of the knee. They strengthen the main muscles of the legs such as the quads, the gluteals and the hamstrings. All it requires is a step or a low bench.
First, stand facing the step. Put the left foot firmly on top, making sure that the heel doesn’t overhang the step. Then, push down with the left heel and use the left thigh and gluteal muscles to raise the right foot onto the bench. This drives the body up on the step. While this is happening, the patient should exhale. Then, step down backward, reversing the movements to the start position. Repeat as many times as the physical therapist recommended, then switch feet.
These exercises are good to help heal injuries of the ankles such as sprains, fractures and bursitis. It requires no equipment at all.
Concentrate on the core, then raise the left knee as high as possible and swing the right arm with the fist balled loosely. Step forward with the left leg under control and bring down the right arm. Raise the right knee and left arm and move forward, and repeat. A variation on the A-walk is to perform it in a skipping motion. Raise the knee as high as possible and skip while swinging the arms.
In one exercise, stand with the left arm tight against the side and put the right hand over the left. Push forward with the left shoulder while resisting with the right hand. Hold this pose for 10 seconds, rest, repeat, then switch sides.
In another kind of shoulder isometric, stand with the left shoulder, upper arm and elbow against a wall. Push back with the arm and elbow for 10 seconds and rest. Repeat the recommended times, then switch arms.
Another shoulder isometric uses a towel rolled up between the arm and the side. Stand with the left arm by the side with the towel between the elbow and the side. Squeeze the elbow into the side and hold for 10 seconds, rest and repeat. Switch sides.
Neck Extensions and Flexions
These exercises help with neck nerve injuries. Look straight ahead, and stand upright with the arms by the sides in a relaxed posture. Then, extend the neck by slowly raising the chin until looking at the ceiling. Hold for a few seconds. Flex the neck by letting the head drop forward. Then, return the head to the start position.