Kinesitherapy (kinesis = movement) deals with the application of therapeutic exercises in order to preserve, establish and develop the functions of the locomotor system. Kinesitherapy is one of the most important measures of medical rehabilitation of physically disabled people, because it cannot be replaced by other measures and medications. Therapeutic exercises are divided in relation to the way they are performed into: passive exercises and active exercises.
These are exercises that the physiotherapist performs over the patient in the form of passive movements of individual parts of the extremities. The tasks of passive exercises are:
- maintaining the physiological length of the antagonist muscles, and thus preventing shortening and later joint contracture. If there has already been a shortening of the muscles, by applying passive exercises, stretching the muscles, an attempt is made to increase their length, and thus the range of motion in the joint.
- When performing passive exercises with the limb removed, impulses arrive from the periphery to the nerve cells of the cerebral cortex. The active participation of the patient in performing passive exercises, through the maximum concentration of his attention and will to actively perform that appropriate movement, is provided by the so-called. fascillation, which increases the activity of cortical cells.
Active exercises are the result of voluntary muscular activity and the patient performs them himself on the basis of instructions from a physiotherapist, who is obliged to explain to the patient the main elements of exercises, such as starting position, course of exercises, speed and number of repetitions.
Active exercises are:
- develops coordination of movements (harmony in performing movements)
- increases the speed of performing movements, and thus achieves automation (skills and abilities in performing, primarily manual activities), whereby the establishment of automatic movements requires a large number of repetitions while shortening the time for performing movements
- increases local and general endurance
- active exercises with load (overcoming the load or resistance by the muscles) increases muscle strength and muscle trophism.