Lower Extremity Rehabilitation Program
Joseph H. Guettler, M.D.
Kenneth Soave, PT, Director of Physical Therapy Services
Lower Extremity Basic Stretching:
Hip stretching in all four directions:
Hip Extensors (gluteus):
While standing on your unaffected leg, place the foot of your affected leg on a step stool. With your knee bent, lean towards the stool. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 1-2 times per day.
Hip Flexors (muscles in front of hip):
While standing on your affected leg, place your opposite foot on a chair or step stool. Making sure to keep your affected leg straight, lean towards the chair or stool until you feel a stretch in the front of your hip. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 1-2 times per day.
Hip Abductors (muscles at side of hip):
While standing with your legs apart, lean over to your unaffected side until you feel a stretch on the side of your hip, on the affected side. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 1-2 times per day.
Hip Abductors (groin muscles):
While standing with your feet wider than shoulder width apart, slowly bend your unaffected leg while leaning to the same side. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds.
While sitting, place a rolled up towel under the ankle of your affected leg. Make sure your leg is straight in front of you, let gravity pull your knee towards the floor, which will stretch behind your knee. To enhance this stretch, you may place extra pressure (with your hand or a light weight) on your knee. Hold this stretch for at least 30 seconds. Repeat this stretch 10 times, 1-2 times per day.
While lying on your back, bend at the hip and grab your leg at the back of your thigh. Let gravity bend your knee and stretch it for 30 seconds, then repeat 1-2 times per day.
Heel Cord Stretching:
While standing, place your hands against a wall and place your unaffected foot in front (closer to the wall) of your affected foot. Keep your affected leg straight and lean towards the wall making sure to keep your heel on the floor and your toes slightly pointed in. To enhance this stretch, move your affected foot further from the wall and perform the same stretch. Repeat this stretch with your knee bent. Hold these stretches for 30 seconds and repeat 1-2 times per day.