Advancements in Prosthetics – Prosthetics Physical Therapy Program – Part 03

Advancements in Prosthetics – Prosthetics Physical Therapy Program – Part 03


Just a quick note regarding your diet. As
you know, it takes energy to be able to walk with your new prosthesis. If you will make
sure you have a well rounded diet, and drink plenty of fluids, this will assist you in
walking better. If you have any specific questions regarding your diet, please contact your primary
care physician. This is called prosthetic limb stepping–
and it will help you learn to walk properly. You may want to use a railing or chair for
stability. You’ll step with your prosthesis—and your other leg will stay in place. Begin by
standing with your prosthetic foot behind you. Focus on pushing off with the toes. When
your prosthetic foot comes back down—hit your heel first–then distribute the weight
to your residual limb. Reverse the step to return to your starting position. As you do
this exercise—your stride length should be the same as when you walk. This is a quadruped strengthening and balance
exercise. Begin on your hands and knees. Lift your left arm and right leg at the same time.
Hold this for three seconds–then return to the starting position. Now lift your right
arm and left leg. Hold for three seconds. Rest briefly between repetitions. This is a static standing balance exercise.
It will help you safely balance equally on both legs. You’ll need two high-backed chairs.
Position the chairs– one on each side–with the chair back facing you. Hold onto the chairs
and position your feet shoulder width apart. Gradually lift your hands. Remember– balance
equally on both legs. Avoid favoring one side over the other. In this exercise you’ll be reciprocally walking
stairs–which means you’ll be walking step over step. This method usually applies to
below-knee amputees. Whether going up or down–focus on controlling your residual limb. Walk up
a stairway starting with your prosthesis. Once your prosthetic leg is safely planted
on a step–bring your sound limb up past your prosthesis—and place it on the next step.
To walk down a stairway–start with your sound leg. Remember–always have control of your
prosthesis before moving your other limb. Practice using the hand rails at first–but
work toward walking stairs without them. This method of walking stairs is called a
step-two pattern–and it’s primarily for above-knee amputees. Whether going up or down stairs–focus
on controlling your residual limb. When stepping up– start with your sound leg–then bring
your prosthesis up to the same step. Repeat this for each stair. Do not walk step over
step as this may cause you to lose your footing. You’ll walk down stairs in a similar way.
This time—start with your prosthesis. Then–once you have control–bring your sound limb down
to the same step. Repeat this– prosthesis-then sound limb–for each stair. Practice using
the handrails—but work toward walking without them. For the stool scoot you’ll need to find a
rolling chair and a large area of open– flat–and hard flooring. Push yourself backward across
the floor–then pull yourself forward to your starting position. You’ll find pulling forward
more difficult–so it’s important to dig in with your heel. Contracting your hamstrings–the
muscles on the back of your leg–is what allows you to pull. When pushing backward–again
dig in your heel. When you push–you’ll be working your quads–the muscles on the front
of you leg. This variation of the crunch focuses onyour
lower abdominals. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Cross your arms over your chest.
Raise your upper body and your lower body at the same time. Make sure to tighten your
lower abdominal muscles. Hold for five seconds– then relax. Breathe throughout the exercise. In this demonstration you’ll learn the proper
way to walk up and down an incline. Start by walking down an incline. Control your residual
limb while swinging your sound side to take a step. Avoid quick motions. Instead–focus
on keeping movement smooth and even. Allow your quads and hamstrings to strengthen during
this exercise. Now practice walking up an incline. Again–control your residual limb
while swinging your sound side to take a step. Avoid a quick extension of the residual limb
knee. Smooth motion is the key. Use your arms for support if you need it. Allow your legs
to strengthen. When walking up and incline –you may notice the toe of your prosthetic
dragging. Try not to let this happen–as it may cause you to trip. The home exercise program that you have just
seen, is the core of your physical therapy rehab. Needless to say we can’t show you
everything here, but if you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact
us.

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