Mobilising exercises

Range of movement exercises such as shoulder lifts and rolls, scapular retractions, trunk side bends, ankle plantar/dorsiflexion, etc. should promote release of synovial fluid into the joint capsule. This will ensure the joints are well lubricated and cushioned. The increased blood flow raises the temperature within the tendons, muscles and ligaments surrounding each joint, improving their viscoelastic properties and allowing fuller range of movement. Preparatory stretches (PS) can be used to assist mobilisation. These should focus on the muscle groups, which are prone to adaptive shortening, either as a result of the ageing process, or as a result of cardiac surgery. With PS the muscle is lengthened to a point where mild tension is experienced and then held still for approximately 10 seconds. While stretches are being performed, it is essential to keep the rest of the body moving to avoid a drop in heart rate or venous pooling. There continues to be some debate on the benefits of PS in the athletic population (Thacker, et al., 2004) for the CR group it seems prudent to continue with PS.

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