Forearm or elbow in a cast - broken, exercises

The exercises help maintain and build muscular function and mobility.

About the exercises

The exercises will maintain the muscular function and mobility when you have a broken forearm or elbow in a cast.

When you get home

Use the sling correctly

Your hand should be elevated above your elbow when wearing the sling. Use the sling on the first day, except at night. If your entire arm is in a cast, use the sling if you are in pain.

Do not wear jewellery on the injured hand

Avoid wearing rings on the injured hand as your fingers may swell.

Use your arm while it is in a cast

Move your arm and fingers as much as possible every day, even while wearing a cast. This will help you maintain mobility and avoid swelling. Use your arm as you normally would when dressing, cleaning and eating. Do not lift heavy objects, for example grocery bags, for six to eight weeks.

Exercises

Begin rehabilitation immediately

Start doing the exercises while you are wearing the cast. These exercises will help you regain mobility faster. We will guide you through the exercises.

Complete the exercises four to five times a day and repeat each exercise at least 15 times. Relax your shoulders and keep an easy pace.
If you begin to feel pain while doing the exercises, take a 30-minute break and then continue doing the exercises. Remove your sling when you are doing the exercises.

Exercise 1

  • Stretch your fingers.
  • Slowly make a fist by first bending the joints closest to the fingertip, then the middle joints and finally the joints at the base of your fingers.
  • Release the fist and stretch out your fingers.
Picture illustrating how to do the exercise.

Exercise 2

  • Make a fist. You can hold a small ball, if needed.
  • Stretch and spread your fingers.
Picture illustrating how to do the exercise.

Exercise 3

  • Keep your fingers together and then spread them as far as possible.
Picture illustrating how to do the exercise.

Exercise 4

  • Touch your thumb to the base of your little finger. Arch your thumb away from your palm as far as is possible.
  • Return your thumb its original position.
Picture illustrating how to do the exercise.

Exercise 5

  • Spread your fingers as far as possible.
  • Touch your thumb to the tip of each of your other fingers by turn. Make a large “O” with each touch. Stretch your fingers between each “O”.
Picture illustrating how to do the exercise.

Exercise 6

Stand up.

  • Swing your arms in circular motions.
Picture illustrating how to do the exercise.

Exercise 7

  • Lift both shoulders towards your ears and hold the position for five seconds.
  • Lower your shoulders and relax.
Picture illustrating how to do the exercise.

Exercise 8

Straighten your back, lower your shoulders and keep your arms by your side.

  • Push your chest forward and pull your shoulders back.
  • Let your chest and shoulders relax.   
Picture illustrating how to do the exercise.

Exercise 9

Stand up.

  • Arch your back forwards while placing your arms in front of you.
  • Straighten your back and place the back of your hands on your lower back.
Picture illustrating how to do the exercise.

Exercise 10

  • Raise one or both arms as high as you can. Your elbows should be elevated above your heart. If you only raise one arm, you can support it with the opposite hand.
  • Make a fist. Stretch and spread your fingers.
Picture illustrating how to do the exercise.

You can see a video of the exercises on https://regionh.dk/tpy or hold your smartphone camera over this QR code:

QR-code

Worth knowing

We will assess whether you need to be examined for osteoporosis (brittle bones)

If the fracture could be due to osteoporosis, you should contact your general practitioner for an examination. Osteoporosis is easy to treat, and treatment will reduce the risk of more fractures.

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