Rehabilitative exercise

Rehabilitative exercise

There is a significant difference between general exercise and rehabilitative exercise. General exercise consists of a program that improves each area of your body as part of a healthy lifestyle. Rehabilitative exercise makes a dysfunctional body part function properly again. You can get back to health by combining exercises with physical therapy and treatment.

A Rehabilitative exercise program is a form of physical therapy that incorporates various techniques to help you recover from accidents, sports injuries, repetitive strain injuries, and other chronic pain. The techniques and movements shorten rehab time.

Rehabilitation Exercises

People who exercise regularly can be put out of action by injuring a muscle. This is very frustrating, especially when you start to make progress towards your goals through training.

Even if you only do moderate-intensity training, an injury can still take time to recover. By using the correct rehabilitation exercises, therapy and treatment, you can relieve pain, get back to your exercise routine, and regain a healthy quality of life. However, new exercises can be challenging, so be cautious as you do the movements.

Rehabilitative Exercises For Injuries

We will now go through some rehabilitative exercises for specific problems and what you can expect as you recover. These rehabilitative exercises should be done several times per day to build strength in the affected area and aid your rehab. You don't need access to any equipment for these movements, and you can develop muscle strength without any load.

You should speak to a professional trainer or physical therapy expert before you start doing these exercises. They will advise you if they are the right thing to do for your specific problem or condition.

Back Problems

If you damage your back, you must fix it, as it is crucial for the health of your spine. A properly functioning spine gives you correct posture, helps to maintain your mobility and muscle strength while protecting your back from further damage.

To improve your spinal health, you need to focus on strengthening your core. Your core consists of over 30 muscles in your abdomen and lower back, significantly impacting your balance and stability. If you have a strong core, you will reduce your chance of developing back pain from your injury.

Here are some great exercises you can perform if you are returning to training from a back injury and relieve back pain:

Pelvic Tilts

Lie on your back with your knees bent, and place your hands on your hips. Then slowly tilt your pelvis towards your rib cage and then away from it to lift your lower back off the ground. Perform this movement for about 1 minute.

Bird Dogs

Start on all fours and make sure your core is engaged. Extend one arm out in front of you while extending the opposite leg behind you until they are both straight. Hold the position for a few seconds, return to the start position and repeat on the other side. Do this at least 6 times per side.

Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder damage can take a long time to heal. The nature of these problems can give you severe pain and negatively affect your quality of life. They often make lifting, reaching, pushing and pulling problematic.

Most shoulder problems come from overuse and repetition. Therefore, shoulder rehabilitation needs to be done at the right time and not straight away. You need to rest a damaged shoulder, so it has time to gain strength before you start training again.

Once you get the go-ahead from a physical therapist, you can start your shoulder rehab. Here are some ways you can rehabilitate and develop your shoulder muscle:


Stand upright, and bend forward at the waist until you can support yourself on a chair using one arm. Let your arm with the injured shoulder hang down, and gently swing it backwards and forwards, side to side and then in circles. Do these movements on both sides, three times per day.

Crossover Arm Stretch

Stand upright with your shoulders straight and relaxed. Gently pull one arm across your chest, and hold it with the other hand. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and swap sides.

Hamstring Injuries

Suffering a hamstring strain can be very painful and put you out of action for a while. If you don't rehabilitate it properly, it can become a recurring problem and cause pain.

You need to be mindful of your daily activities to ensure that you don't strain hamstring injuries further. If you feel anxious about whether you are doing the right things for your rehab, you should visit a physical therapist to get advice.

A good example of an exercise for the early days of hamstring rehab is an isometric exercise. These allow you to flex a muscle without stretching it. You may also benefit from strengthening your glutes, as they will help with injury prevention.

Here are some hamstring rehabilitative exercises you can do without using any equipment:

Single Leg Bridge

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Flex your glutes and raise one leg up. Keeping your leg raised, push down with your heel and lift your pelvis off the floor.

Ensure you keep your shoulders flat on the floor and your core, glutes and hamstring and tight. Repeat 10 times on each side.

Hamstring Curl

Lie on your front with your legs stretch out behind you. You can place a pillow under your stomach to be more comfortable if you wish. Slowly bend the knee of your problematic leg toward your bum until you feel resistance. Repeat this movement 8-12 times per side.

Groin Injuries

Groin strains typically affect athletes and can keep coming if not properly treated. However, you don't need to be an athlete to experience them. 

To properly look after and come back from a groin strain, you need to rest and ice it. Once you have rested the injury properly, you can do the following rehab exercises:

Adductor Squeeze

Lie with your back flat on the floor, lift your legs, and bend them, so your shins are parallel with the floor. Place a large ball between your thighs and squeeze them together until your groin muscles are engaged. Hold the ball in this position for 2 seconds, release and repeat 10 times.

Side-Lying Leg Lift With Crossover

Lie on your injured side. Bend your top leg and place your foot flat on the ground in front of your injured thigh. Keep your bottom leg straight, and slowly raise it up as far as you can, but don't push it too hard. Hold the position for 5 seconds and repeat 15 times. Repeat the movement on both sides twice.

Knee Injuries

Knee injuries are very common as they are the most used joints in your body. Therefore, they are vulnerable to wear and tear and inflammation. Initially, following knee damage or surgery, you will need to work on restoring your range of motion. You should really get some treatment from a physical therapist for this.

Knee problems can be rehabilitated by doing exercises that develop strength around the joint. These muscles give you stability and mobility. It is also advisable to develop strong hips to reduce the pressure on the knee so it can work properly.

To help rehabilitate, try the following knee strengthening exercises after trauma or surgery:

Straight Leg Raises

Lie on your back with one knee bent and your foot flat on the floor. Straighten your other leg, and raise it slowly until it meets the bent knee of your other leg. Repeat the exercise 15 times on each leg, 3 times per day.


Stand at the bottom of a staircase. Step on to the bottom step with one leg while raising the other until your thigh is parallel with the ground. Pause, and place the lifted foot back on the floor behind you. Repeat the movement 10 times on each leg. Do the movements slowly so you can maintain your balance.

Tips To Recover Quickly And Safely From Injuries

It is essential to be cautious before jumping into any recovery program. A good program should consist of safe and sustainable rehabilitation exercises. Suffering any type of trauma increases your risk of developing recurring and future problems. We can manage these risks by being safe and mindful about how hard we push ourselves.

If you're ready to start rehabilitation, check out these tips for safely returning to your training program:

Don't Rush Your Exercise Routine

Many people rush back into exercising before they have recovered adequately. It is best to start off slowly and build up the difficulty of your training. The gradual build-up will give you confidence that you won't make it worse or make it into a recurring problem. You will also become more aware of your body as you progress. If you experience lots of pain, decrease the intensity or stop the exercise and seek advice.

Undergo Physical Therapy

If you've suffered a nasty injury or are experiencing lots of pain, it's essential to seek professional help. A physical therapy expert will have the knowledge to determine what is happening and know the best course of action and suitable therapy.

Final Thoughts

These different types of exercises should be an integral part of your recovery. Combined with treatments from a helpful physical therapist, you can expect to hit your intended goal of having pain free, unrestricted movement and feeling normal.