Lower limb exercise class gives patient’s their lives back

Physiotherapists from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have developed a six week lower limb exercise programme in Workington to help patients recover from injuries and operations.

Michael Turnbull, Physiotherapist from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said:

“The classes can be used as a stepping stone for patients to return to their usual activities including daily tasks, working, sport and physical activity. We encourage patients to set their own goals; if someone wants to be back cycling after the programme, we will work towards this and review it at six weeks. We want to give people their lives back!”

The exercise classes are designed for people with various lower limb conditions and balance problems to help their recovery process by improving their fitness, strength, coordination, and pain management.

Pat Fowler, patient who attends the Workington lower limb exercise classes said:

“I didn’t know what to expect after my knee operation but these classes have helped a lot. I have really enjoyed coming and they have got me back to my normal self- I can do everything now!”

The programme is aimed at all ages and involves a wide variety of specifically selected exercises which suits the patient as their ability progresses. Exercises include step ups, wall slides with a gym ball, chair squats and light bouncing on a trampette.

Phil Cram, patient who attends the Workington lower limb exercise class said:

“I did the exercise programme after my first hip replacement and I was keen to come back after my second. It’s always good to have advice on hand and I’m gradually getting back to normal- hopefully I will be back fell walking soon!”

To continue progression once the programme is complete, patients are given information about local gyms such as Fit 4 Life. An audit found that at 6 months after finishing the six week course, 77% of people were continuing to exercise at the same or a higher level than they were on discharge from the class. The remaining 23% were either awaiting surgery or recovery from surgery.

Michael Turnbull added:

“Being in a class environment receiving professional encouragement, guidance and feedback gives patients the confidence to do the exercises at home throughout the week. We also want patients to continue exercising after the programme to ensure a better quality of life with additional benefits including weight loss.”

Patients are referred onto the Workington lower limb exercise programme via other physiotherapists when they are ready to progress their rehabilitation.

Without this service, following an injury or operation patients would be given exercises to do independently at home along with information about local gyms on request.