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Exercise Safety


Exercise safety includes using correct equipment and positions to work the muscles without causing more injury. You will need to know which exercises to do and how often to do them. You will also need to know what to do if you feel pain or think an exercise caused injury. Do not start an exercise program before you talk to your healthcare provider. You may need to wait until your swelling and pain have gone down before you start to exercise.


Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have sharp pain during exercise or at rest.
  • You have questions or concerns about your stretches or exercises.

What you need to know before you exercise:

  • Exercises help lower pain and swelling after an injury or surgery. They also help strengthen the muscles that support your joints and bones. This may help prevent another injury.
  • You may need a light weight or an exercise band for some exercises. Your healthcare provider will tell you how much weight to exercise with. Ask your healthcare provider where to buy a weight or an exercise band.
  • Your healthcare provider will tell you how often to do each exercise. The provider will also tell you how many times to repeat each exercise and how many sets you should do. You may be told to do different exercises on different days.
  • Warm up and stretch before you exercise. Walk or ride a stationary bike for 5 to 10 minutes to help you warm up. Stretching helps increase range of motion. It may also relieve muscle soreness and help prevent another injury. Your healthcare provider will show you which stretches you need to do.

What you can do to exercise safely:

  • Move slowly and smoothly. Avoid fast or jerky motions. This will help prevent another injury.
  • Breathe normally. Do not hold your breath. It is important to breathe in and out so you do not tense up during exercise. Tension could prevent you from moving your joint in a full range of motion.
  • Stop if you feel sharp pain or an increase in pain. Stop the exercise and contact your healthcare provider if you have these symptoms. It is normal to feel some discomfort, such as a dull ache, during exercise. Regular exercise will help decrease your discomfort over time.

Follow up with your physical therapist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Exercise Safety (Aftercare Instructions)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.