Physical Therapy Equipment for Home
A physical therapy clinic is equipped with large, expensive, technical equipment that you can often only find in a professional therapeutic clinic, but some of the tools required for therapy are also available for at-home use. Your physical therapist may give you equipment for home use or suggest that you buy what you need to accelerate your recovery at home with daily exercises. If you would like to include physical therapy equipment for use in your home, our therapists suggest the following items:
Resistance bands come in many different lengths and tensions, from extra light to heavy. Some are designed to be loops while others can be straight, flat, or even tubular with handles. The advantage of the bands is that they are extremely versatile in addition to being very portable, making it easy to take them with you when you travel and use them to get a full-body workout. These bands can be used to target muscles that might otherwise be difficult to strengthen. Ask your therapist what type of band is best for your needs and which exercises you should perform when using them.
Stability balls can be used in a variety of ways to promote body health and improve healing and strength building. The supportive stability ball can make it possible to strengthen weak muscles safely without worrying about injuries from falling or exercising without proper support. Stability balls can also be used to make exercises you currently do more challenging and help you recruit more muscles for better overall strength and balance. Some people even use a stability ball in place of an office chair when they work to promote better core strength! You will want to get the right size ball for your body type, so talk with your therapist about how to choose the proper stability ball for your needs.
A Bosu Ball is essentially half of a stability ball mounted to a solid base. This surprisingly simple tool can be one of the most helpful pieces of equipment in your arsenal for building strength and improving your balance. Merely standing on the ball challenges muscles in your legs and core and promotes better posture. You can also use the ball to perform basic strength training exercises as a way to achieve better balance and involve more muscles in your movements. You can also flip the ball over so that you are standing on the flat base with the dome on the floor for an incredible core balance workout, or use it to amp up your pushups and strengthen your entire torso. Discuss the best exercises to perform on the Bosu with your therapist to maximize your results.
When you are selecting weights for home use, you want to choose a weight that is solid, not filled with sand or other fillers that can shift when you lift them and cause injury. It’s also important to choose weights that are comfortable for you to use. Make sure you can grip the weights comfortably and that they are not coated with materials that are slippery or hard to hold on to. Ask your therapist what range of weight is best for you and choose more than one size. For instance, if you have been instructed to use 5-pound weights, purchase a set of 3-pound and a set of 8-pound weights as well. This will give you a range of weight to help you build strength gradually and safely. In addition, consider ankle strap cuff weights for your lower extremity exercises. These cuff weights can be a versatile tool to help with the ankle, knee, hip, and low back exercises often prescribed by your physical therapist.
Be sure to discuss new equipment with your physical therapist to confirm you know how to use it safely and determine which exercises are right for you. Consistent, targeted exercise at home can help you heal faster and enjoy better benefits than relying solely on the equipment in our clinic. Equip your home with these simple tools and you can “Move Better” sooner! If you have any additional questions about physical therapy equipment at home, contact Move Better Physical Therapy or call us at 434-817-0980.