ZocdocAnswersWhat can I do to strengthen my arm now that my cast is off?

Question

What can I do to strengthen my arm now that my cast is off?

Broke my arm and just got the cast off. My arm is now a lot skinnier and weaker than my other one. Any ways to make it get back to normal fast? I want to play sports this summer but I'm afraid my arm won't be back to normal in time.

Answer

Unfortunately it is pretty common for an arm to be skinny and weak after having a cast taken off. This is because the muscles rely a lot on daily stimulation and exercise to keep strong, and when they are immobilized in a cast they quickly shrink. Similarly, the joints inside the cast often become quite stiff. The best thing to do in order to get yourself back to normal is to use the arm in daily activities as much as you are able. Additionally, you will want to make sure to move the joints in the arm extensively at least several times a day in order to help loosen them up. Just with these basic activities, most people are back to functioning pretty well within a few weeks. If you are a competitive sports player, this might be different, as it will take quite a while for the muscle mass to build all the way back up. In this case, you may want to talk to your orthopedic doctor or your primary care doctor to see if a few visits to a physical therapist to help get you back on track quicker might be in order. Good luck, and I hope you are feeling 100% soon!

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