Returning to an exercise routine after surgery is no easy journey. With prolonged bed rest after surgery, you may lose substantial muscle mass and strength.
Non-impact sports, such as cycling are highly recommended when gradually exercising in due time, and It’s important to ease into these activities and try to listen to your body.
It is strongly encouraged that after surgery, recovery time along with regular physiotherapy will assist with returning to a structured and beneficial exercise routine. Some patients may assume that they will never be able to return to their peak physical performance, but with patience and the right technique it is possible.
The exercises you want to routinely perform should be planned out with your physio or GP. And after gaining confidence with gentle exercise you can gradually increase the intensity of your fitness routine to where you feel comfortable.
Depending upon your surgery you may have up wait up to 6 months before undertaking any rigorous exercise. Therefore, in the first couple months you might have to avoid sprinting, heavy lifting, and jumping, as strenuous exercises may actually slow the healing process and possibly cause injury.
Hydrotherapy is highly recommended after hip, knee and shoulder surgery. Along with hydrotherapy, it’s important to receive regular guidance from a physiotherapist before you begin self-managing your post-surgery exercises.
Other Post-Surgery Exercise Tips Include:
- Most patients start the road to recovery early with light strengthening and range of motion exercises while still in the hospital.
- Staying fit after undergoing a hip replacement is particularly important since excess weight can contribute to more pain, and make it difficult for you to retain your range of motion after surgery.
- The most important exercises to focus on after hip surgery should involve: stretching, strengthen and low impact exercise such as water aerobics.
This video demonstrates exercises you can undertake from 12 weeks after a total hip replacement.
- Stationary bikes can be a great tool if you are recovering from knee replacement surgery. This equipment can help you increase your range of motion and strengthen your entire leg.
- The treadmill will be the best start to getting back on the wagon. It can help you recover strength in the muscles you use for walking and balancing. Start your recovery treadmill exercises with no incline and at slow speeds.
- At 3 months’ post-operative, you should be at the point where you can introduce light resisted exercises.
- If you practice regular exercise with a focus on weight training, it is important to note that your training routine will need to be adapted post-surgery. Exercises that you once performed may be off limits. Remember to talk to your physio regarding your exercise routine.
- Using ice and compression to help accelerate the healing process and help your body recover after exercise is extremely important in the early months of returning back to exercise.
Be mindful that any exercise you undertake after surgery should be talked through with your surgeon, doctor or physiotherapist. For more information on returning to exercise after surgery visit or contact Dr Sunner here.