Balance exercises for amputees
Consists of several previous committees which in the autumn of 2019 were merged into one committee.
(IT / web, editorial staff, joy of life and information committee)
Balance exercises are important for anyone with amputated legs. Many amputees have an asymmetrical gait pattern. One reason is often that not enough emphasis is placed on the prosthesis. This applies both when walking and standing, and the risk of incorrect loading and problems elsewhere in the body is greater. It is therefore very important that you train balance and are able to stand with full weight in the prosthesis.
The following three balance exercises can be performed daily. Spend 3-5 minutes on each exercise and focus on using the muscles in the amputation stump and in the seat.
Move the weight from side to side:
Stand between 2 chairs and place your hands on the back of the chair as support. Stand in front of a large mirror if you have the opportunity. The distance between the feet should be about 10-15 cm. Move your entire body weight from right to left leg.
Focus on using the muscles in the buttocks and the muscles around the hip joint. Feel that you have as much weight on the prosthesis as on the remaining legs.
Gradually minimize the support from your hands.
Move the weight back and forth:
Same exercise as above, but now move the weight forward on the toes and back on the heel.
Start with small movements and gradually larger movements. Continue to focus on having equal weight / weight on the prosthesis and remaining legs. Use the muscles in the stump.
If you move the weight too far back on the heels, use your arms to keep your balance and bend slightly at the hip joint.
If you move the weight too far forward on your toes, use your arms and stretch them behind your body, tighten your gluteal muscles and push your hips forward.
Stand on the prosthesis:
When you manage to keep the balance and have equal weight between the prosthesis and the remaining legs, you should practice standing with full weight on the prosthesis. This applies to both beginners and experienced prosthesis users as many prosthesis users have never learned to master this.
Feel free to stand between 2 chairs as described above. Place a telephone directory, small stool or similar in front of you. Gently place the remaining legs up on the stool and down again. In addition, move the weight forward over the leg that is on the stool. Repeat this several times.
When you feel comfortable with this exercise, you minimize the support from your arms by only supporting yourself with your hand on the prosthesis side and eventually without using your arms. Perform the exercise calmly and in a controlled manner! Feel after using the muscles around the hip joint.
More advanced balance exercises with prosthesis
As a progression to balance exercises, you can perform the next 3 exercises. These exercises are more demanding.
Stand with a tennis ball or similar in front of you and place your remaining foot on the ball.
Keep your foot on the ball and roll it back and forth, from side to side or in circles.
Feel that you are especially using the muscles around the hip joint on the prosthetic leg.
Repeats: Repeat 20 x in each direction
Here you will need a sturdy chair or table and a training elastic.
Attach one end of the elastic around the chair / table and the other end around the ankle of the remaining leg.
Support a table or similar if you need it. Now move your remaining leg in different directions both backwards and to the sides. The elastic should be a little tight at all times and give you resistance.
The point is to keep balance on the prosthetic leg that you stand on throughout the exercise.
Repeats: Repeat 20 x in each direction.
Go over objects:
For example, place 5-10 plastic mugs in a row on the floor at a distance of 40-50 cm.
Start at one end of the row, lift the remaining legs calmly and controlled up and go over the mug.
Focus on keeping your balance on the prosthesis.
The progression is to lift the remaining legs higher up – preferably so high that the knee joint is in line with the hip joint.
Repetitions: Go back and forth 3-4 times.