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Passive Exercise description

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Don’t move a muscle. Passive exercise is a technique used by physiotherapists to help those with reduced mobility or muscle problems stay flexible and gain improved circulation.

How does it work?

During treatment, a physiotherapist repeatedly uses gentle pressure to manipulate the patient’s limbs and joints (for example, bending and extending the knee).

The patient should not use any muscles during passive exercise, and simply needs to allow their body to move in conjunction with the force applied. As the muscles aren’t engaged, passive exercises are simply used to test the range of motion the joint is capable of, rather than attempting to build strength

Is it for me?

If you have mobility problems relating to illness, injury, surgery or paralysis, passive exercise can help to keep your joints in good condition. It also promotes healthy blood flow to an otherwise static limb.

Good to know

Machines can also be used to test range of motion and provided repeated passive exercise techniques.

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Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013

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