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Therapy exercises after a toe burn injury

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

A contracture is a lack of movement at the joint and this will happen if it is not exercised regularly leading to the joint becoming stiff and limiting your everyday activities. It is always better to prevent a joint contracture from occurring than it is to treat it.

If a contracture develops, another surgery may be needed.

What should I do?

During your treatment you will have carried out some exercises with the therapist. It is very important that you continue your exercises at home.

These should be carried out little and often throughout the day to prevent stiffness. Using your limbs for normal daily activities such as walking will help maintain movement and reduce stiffness. When you are lying in bed, it is important that you keep your leg elevated on pillows. Your therapist will discuss this with you.

When your burn wound has healed, as advised, use an unperfumed cream to moisturise and massage the area 2 to 3 times a day to keep your skin supple which will help with your stretches at home. It is very important that the old cream is washed off before applying more.

Exercises

Exercise 1

Cross the affected ankle over the other knee. Place your hand underneath your toes and bend your ankle and toes towards you.

Photograph of foot resting over the other leg's knee, and using a hand to pull the toes away from themselves to feel a stretch in the toes and under the foot

Hold this position for seconds, then relax your foot.

Repeat times.

Exercise 2

Cross the affected ankle over the other knee. Place your hand on top of your toes and stretch your ankle down while pointing your toes.

Photograph of foot resting over the other leg's knee, and using a hand to pull the top of the foot towards themselves to feel a stretch in the top of the foot

Hold this position for seconds, then relax your foot.

Repeat times.

Exercise 3

Cross the affected ankle over the other knee. Place your hand by your little toe and your thumb by your big toe. Push your foot so you can see the sole of the foot.

Photograph of foot resting over the other leg's knee, and using a hand to push the toes away from the foot making an 'S' shape

Hold this position for seconds, then relax your foot.

Repeat times.

Exercise 4

Cross the affected ankle over the other knee. Place your hand by your little toe and your thumb by your big toe. Push your foot so your sole is facing the floor.

Photograph of foot resting over the other leg's knee, and using a hand to push the toes down towards the ground

Hold this position for seconds, then relax your foot.

Repeat times.

Contact us

Sheffield Children’s Burns Therapy 0114 271 7148.

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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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