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Therapy exercises after a burn to the torso

It is important to continue to exercise your joints after a burn injury. If the skin over or near a joint has been damaged by a burn, it can become tight and eventually contract.

A contracture is a lack of movement at a joint and this will happen if the exercises are not done regularly. This could lead to the joint becoming stiff and limiting your everyday activities. It is better to treat the injury before a contracture occurs as this can be difficult and surgery may be required.

What exercises should I do?

During your visit you will do some exercises with the therapist. It is important that you continue these at home.

Your exercises need to be carried out little and often through the day to prevent stiffness. It’s really important to continue doing normal activities such as washing and dressing.

Exercises

Torso flexion

Sitting on a chair or bench with a straight back slowly bend forwards tucking your arms into your chest. Go as far as you can.

Illustration of child sitting down with their arms crossed their chest and learning forwards to curl their back

Hold this position for seconds, then relax and return to the start position.

Repeat times.

Torso extension

Lying on your stomach, keep your hips on the floor. Lean in to your forearms and look straight ahead. If this is too easy you can push up onto your hands. Throughout this exercise you must keep your hips on the floor.

Illustration of child laying on the floor on their belly, with their hands on the ground, and lifting up their chest to flex their back

Hold this position for seconds, then relax and return to the start position.

Repeat times.

Torso rotation

Sit on a chair with a straight back. Twist to the left. You can hold the back of the chair with your left arm if you want to.

Illustration of child sat down with one hand placed on their opposite shoulder and twisting in that direction

Hold this position for seconds.

Then relax and return to the start position. Repeat on the right side, holding the chair with the right arm if you want to.

Hold this position for seconds, then relax and return to the start position.

Repeat times.

Torso side flexion

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on a flat surface. Try to touch your right ankle or heel with your right hand. Do not let your back lift off the floor.

Illustration of child laid on their back with their knees up and bringing one side's elbow and shoulder down towards their feet so their rotate their torso

Hold this position for seconds.

Then relax and return to the start position. Repeat this on your left side.

Repeat times.

Torso side flexion while standing

Stand up against a wall with a straight back. Slowly lean to the right running your hand down your right leg. Do not lean forwards or twist.

Illustration of child standing and on one side pulling their shoulder and arm down towards their knees so they rotate their torso to one side

Hold this position for seconds.

Then relax and return to the start position. Repeat this on your left side.

Repeat times.

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the therapy number on 0114 271 7148 or ward number 0114 226 0694.

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Disclaimer

Please note this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s. The details in this resource may not necessarily reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If you have specific questions about how this resource relates to your child, please ask your doctor.

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NHS

Western Bank
Sheffield
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

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