Do you have problems with getting up in the morning from the bed and move, or perhaps you suffer from cold feet and hands every morning? The problem may be weak blood circulation. These problems appear after operations of the legs, longer immobility or accumulation of the lymph on a periphery of the formed edemas.
We have a collection of simple exercises, developed on the reality that we cannot control the muscle mass of the blood vessel walls by our will. Movement treatment by muscle activity increases blood circulation, supports flow of the lymph and lowers the venous blood pressure. So basically we try to pump the blood from the muscles and increase the nutritioning, oxygenation and metabolic exchange.
EXERCISES BASED ON INCREASED BLOOD CIRCULATION FROM THE ACRAL (PERIPHERAL) PARTS OF THE BODY
This type of exercises is recommended during following indications:
- Disease of the venous system
- Treatment of varicose veins
- Treatment of edemas
- Phlebothrombosis (inflammation in the vein followed by blood clot)
- Thrombophlebitis (deep vein thrombosis)
- Post-thrombotic syndrome (collection of changes and symptoms forming as a result of deep vein thrombosis)
- Movement treatment by muscle activity speeds up the blood circulation, as well as the reverse blood flow
- Lowering the venous pressure
PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS AND PRINCIPLES OF EXERCISING
Toes and ankles
The basis is active exercising. Start with the toes and heels, try to clench your toes and extend them. Perform the movement as fast as possible for 20 seconds. Then rest for 15 seconds and repeat it again. You can either clench your toes alternately on the left foot and right foot, or clench your toes at the same time.
When your toes are warmed up, start with your ankles. Try to circle your foot in the ankle in the maximal possible movement range in a swift tempo. Start with circling both feet in the same direction and then continue with circling in the opposite direction. For improved movement awareness and coordination, you can circle each feet in opposite direction. Change the direction after 10 circlings.
After that start to move with your legs just as if you’d do during swimming stroke: crawl. Stretch your legs out in the ankles and perform the movement 20 times.
Now we are getting to the movement in the knee joints. Try to keep the movement precise, especially you who are after injury and and have problems to do the 90-100 degrees needed for a smooth walk, or if you are unable to fully extend your knees. Try to bend and stretch your knees in a comfortable and faster tempo in a maximal possible movement range in bending as well as in extending.
The exercise is an ideal preparation for exercise “riding on a bicycle” with your legs while laying with your back on the ground. It is optional to change the direction of the leg movement.
Let’s continue with exercising the hip joints. Stretch the legs in the knee joints and lift the legs up in the hip joints vertically, and with slow and coordinated movement place them on a bed. At first exercise only one leg, and then continue with the second leg. Repeat the exercise 15 times of each leg.
Lay on your back and bend one of your legs in a hip and knee joint, continue with inhale and a smooth extension of the leg to vertical position. With exhale place your leg back on the floor/bed. Repeat the same on the other leg as well. Repeat 15-20 times on both legs.The movement should not be too slow, but not too fast either. Try to keep a smooth rhythm slightly faster than your breath.
It is also good to warm up your legs by moving it to the sides. Slightly lift up your leg, so the toes would stay in a straight line with your knees, spread your legs to the sides as much as you can and return them back.
Lastly, strengthening exercise…
It is good to end the exercising with a strengthening exercise. Lay on your back, bend your knees and push your heels against the ground or bed, activate your buttock muscles and lift up your pelvis above the surface. Keep your body firm in this position for at least three inhales. With last inhale place your pelvis back down. Repeat the exercise 10 times. The exercise is ideal for strengthening the leg muscles, gluteal muscles and muscles of the pelvic floor.
Do not perform the exercise during acute inflammations of the deep veins.
The exercise is ideal:
- In the morning, in order to optimize the blood circulation and awakening the organism into a new day.
- And in the evening before sleep to get pleasantly tired and falling faster asleep.
Do not hesitate to recommend the exercising to your relatives, especially to the elder ones whom it may help to gain control over body functions.
Author: FYZIOklinika physiotherapy Ltd., Prague, Czech Republic
Source: Clinical experience from a private practice in physiotherapeutic field, FYZIOklinika