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Patient Information

Royal Orthopaedic Exercise Programme

0121 728 9442
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This is a 4 stage exercise programme. Your therapist will advise you at which level to start. It’s not expected that everyone will complete all 4 stages of this programme. Even small improvements in activity can make a difference in your pain and quality of life. The important thing is that you keep up with them and move on when they no longer feel difficult. Try to complete them around 3 to 5 times per week and you will soon see returns on your effort.

If you have any difficulties with this programme or need any further advice, then please contact and discuss with the healthcare practitioner that directed you to this programme. Our physiotherapy department can be reached on 0121 728 9442.

Exercises should be challenging to you but achievable at all times. On a scale of 0-10 (0 no effort at all, 10 being impossible) these exercises should sit around 6-8 effort at the end of each set. If you consistently feel that your exercises are easier than this and your pain is tolerable, then progress to the next level.

Each exercise is run for 45 seconds with a 15 second break in between. You don’t have to work for the full 45 seconds; you may find that you can only perform the exercise for 30 seconds and then take and extra 15 seconds of rest. This is ok and normal. As you get better you will be able to increase with exercise time and reduce the rest.

If you cannot progress your exercises further on this programme, then please get in touch with the physiotherapy department.

Equally, if you move up a stage and then feel it is too hard, feel free to go back to the previous level and try again when you feel ready to do so.

The programme is aimed at improving your quality of movement, strength and general fitness levels. There may be some discomfort with these exercises but it should be acceptable to you and last for less than 24 hours following your exercise session. Should you get any increase in swelling, bruising and pain that is difficult to manage then please contact the physiotherapy department.

Helpful hints:

  • It doesn’t matter what time of day you do your exercises, but doing them at the same time of day has been shown to improve your consistency with them, and consistency is everything!
  • Many things can affect your ability to exercise. Common ones include lack of sleep, high stress levels, poor diet and other health conditions. If you feel that there are things in your life that affect your ability to exercise then please discuss this with your physiotherapist. There may be support on offer that can help.
  • This programme is designed to be flexible. You can use an easier level as a warmup before you complete the harder level. You can repeat the videos to increase the challenge your body.
  • This programme uses weights to make exercises more challenging as you progress. Be imaginative! Weights don’t have to be dumbbells, they can be books, water bottles, carrier bags, back packs and even bricks and logs! The important thing is that it provides you with some resistance to increase your muscle fatigue and can be increased or decreased depending on the exercise or your ability.
  • Be confident! Your physiotherapist has recommended for you to follow this programme because they believe you have a real chance to make meaningful changes.

Guidelines for exercise


You should always consult with a medical professional before commencing any new exercise program or activity.

If you have any underlying medical conditions you should consult with your GP or healthcare professional to confirm that the exercises/exercise program you are looking to follow is appropriate for you and your needs.

If you are fit and well, or have been given approval to take part in exercise by your GP/healthcare provider, please ensure that you take responsibility with regard to your health and always stop activity if a new health issue occurs or an existing condition worsens.

Be aware that taking part in exercise does have an element of risk of injury. Therefore please take appropriate steps to ensure you are working in a safe environment, wearing appropriate attire, following instructions correctly, and have medical clearance to take part.

If you are not feeling well before you start exercise do not continue and seek advice from a professional.

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital will not be held liable for any injuries caused, and will be released from any claims of negligence. Ensure your exercise/activity programme is safe and effective at all times.