Physiotherapy To Improve Arm Strength
“As the arm is subjected to a wide range of movement, injuries related to sport, work or even daily activities are common”
The Importance Of Our Arms
The normal functioning of our arms are crucial for completing day-to day activities. Our arms are often considered as a symbol of strength in sports and adventure activities, the arms play a vital role in carrying out most of the difficult tasks effectively. But a reduction in the function of our arms can lead to lower quality of lite. And even though most of our daily activities require the functioning of our arms, there are certain ranges which we tend to use more than the others and this leads to the weakening of the arms and later causes more problems. For example, most of our activities mainly require mid ranges, while overhead and extreme ranges are often rare.
Its Unique Function
Our upper arms mainly comprise of our biceps and triceps which control the movement of the elbow, while the forearm muscles assist in the wrist and hand movements. Hence, the arms along with the forearm serve as a connector between the hand and the trunk through the shoulder blades. Each component has its own unique function and helps in the proper functioning of the limbs to perform activities such as weight lifting, drawing, writing, cooking, playing etc.
Causes And Symptoms Of Arm Pain And Injuries
As the arm is subjected to a wide range of movement, injuries related to sport, work or even daily activities are common. For example, heavy weight lifting can lead to muscle tears, the fracture of the arm bone can occur as a result of a sudden fall and tennis elbow may be seen, especially in athletes etc.
Arm pain can even be due to pain arising in other regions such as the neck, shoulder, wrist or hand. All these reasons contribute to arm pain and the most common symptoms seen can be a reduction in movement, decreased use of the affected hand, reduced grip, strength and inability to perform bilateral activities.
- Proper stretching of the muscles and warming up can minimize the risk of muscle tears; before exercise one should properly warm up to avoid the risk of injury.
- Strengthening of the arm muscles eases the performance of difficult tasks.
- The strapping or tapping of weaker muscles provide stability and prevent further damage.
Physiotherapy For The Arms
Physiotherapy is a multifaceted program that deals with each and every aspect of the problem related to the arms. There are also several exercises and activities designed to improve the strength of the arm muscles.
Pain in the arms can occur due to many reasons and most of these can be managed using hydro collateral packs and other modalities such as IFT, TENS and ultrasound.
Muscle Tightness/ Contractures :
Stretching performed on a daily basis, helps to restore the muscle length and prevents muscle tightness. In case of contracture, splints can help as they help to maintain the limb in proper position and provide sustained stretching for the contracted muscles.
Sensory Loss :
Sensory diet using different textures can help in restoring the sensation provided so that the damage to the nerves is not severe.
Conservative methods such as casting are usually done in case of fractures involving the humerus (arm bone). In case of complex fractures, screw and plate fixation is mostly carried out. Physiotherapy post-surgery involves mobilization, passive and active movements, free exercises, care of the incision, strengthening exercises etc.
Weakness of the arm muscles is usually due to less performance of movements. For instance, we perform very less overhead activities. Other reasons for weakness may be due neurological causes, muscle sprains, tendinitis etc. Usually the One-RM (repetition maximum) for every muscle is noted and the strengthening is started accordingly.
The strengthening process usually starts by using light weights and then there is a gradual increase in the weights. Other ways include the use of pulleys, thera bands, thera tubes, aqua therapy etc.
- Any pain in the arms requires proper medical assessment in order to figure out the cause.
- Proper stretching, free exercises and strengthening of the arms should be carried out in order to prevent any injuries or damage.
- Strengthening needs to be carried out under proper training.
- Splints, casts etc. need to be used in order to place the arm in a proper resting position.