A major problem with any fracture is stiffness that limits your range of motion. Sometimes, this stiffness persists long after the fractured bones have healed. To prevent that your doctor may have you start physical therapy soon after the injury to help get your arm moving at active.
Your physical therapist will work with you and your doctor to help you regain normal use of your elbow and arm. They may use many different physical therapy treatments and modalities to help you quickly return to normal activity. These include:
Passive Range-of-Motion Exercises
Passive range-of-motion exercises are performed as the patient’s joint is moved by an assistive device or therapist. These exercises may be indicated for patients with congenital or degenerative disorders, or major injuries, in order to improve or maintain joint flexibility.
Active-Assistive Range-of-Motion Exercises
During active assistive range-of-motion exercises, the patient moves the joints and muscles with the help of the therapist. The therapist supports the distal joint (the part of the joint farthest from the point of attachment), while the patient moves as much as possible in the instructed manner.
Active Range-of-Motion Exercises
Active range-of-motion exercises are performed solely by the patient, who moves the joint without any assistance. Although these exercises may not be possible at the start physical therapy, the goal of treatment is to enable the patient to exercise independently.
Active range-of-motion exercises are resistive or isometric. During resistive exercise, the patient pushes or pulls against an opposing, resistant force. During isometric exercises, the patient contracts and relaxes muscles, while keeping the joint in a fixed position.
Ask your physical therapist for printouts of exercises you can do at home. ROM exercises can be performed two to three times per day or as often as prescribed by your physical therapist or doctor. You should feel a slight stretch as you perform each of the exercises.
These devices well help you continue your physical therapy at home. And don’t forget to check with your physical therapist and your doctor before you do any exercises at home.