As you get older, you may need to go through elective surgeries such as hip replacements in order to keep your limbs and body working properly. As we age, our bodies start to deteriorate a bit, which means we may need to replace some of our bones. One of the most common forms of surgery is a hip replacement, as every day we put stress on our hip bones by walking and carrying items every single day. As these joints deteriorate over time, they may need to be replaced.
However, it’s not the end of exercise for you if you need to have a hip replacement. By having a good diet and doing some of these exercises after your hip replacement surgery, you will be able to recover quickly and get back moving. Here are all the best exercises you can do after getting a hip replacement.
Best Exercises After A Hip Replacement
When you’re recovering from a hip replacement, most of these low impact exercises are best done whilst you’re lying on your back on your bed. Make sure you listen to your body and don’t push yourself too far. If you do an exercise that you’re not ready for, you could put undue stress on your body.
Your legs should be one of the places where you should focus on – strengthening these muscles will help you recover much easier. This is especially important for the top of your legs. By doing quadriceps sets (or thigh squeezes) you will be able to strengthen the muscles at the top of your legs – all you have to do is push your knee down into the bed, and hold for 5 seconds.
Lying kicks, sometimes known as short arc quadriceps, are one of the best ways you can stretch your legs properly during recovery. Make sure to lie on your back and put a rolled-up towel under the knee of your surgical leg. Make sure to completely straighten out your leg, and hold it for 5 seconds.
You can also tighten the muscles at the top of your leg through leg raises. As aforementioned, strengthening the top of your legs is imperative for recovering from hip replacement surgery. Bend your non-surgical leg, with your foot flat on the bed, while keeping your surgical leg straight. Raise your surgical leg, and try to hold it for 5 seconds.
Although the tops of your legs are important, the entirety of your leg should be strengthened so you can get back to walking in due time. Therefore, it’s also important to not neglect your ankles while you’re exercising. Doing ankle pumps by raising your feet towards you, and then pointing them again (ballet style.) This will really strengthen your ankles and bolster your whole leg.
Heel and Leg Slides
It’s important to make sure you exercise your hip and knee flexion to make sure the surgery goes well. To best exercise these muscles, you should be doing heel and leg slides. Bend your surgical leg, and slide your heel up to your buttocks keeping your heel on the bed. Make sure to keep your kneecap pointed to the ceiling, and if you need to, put a plastic bag under your heel to make it easier to slide.
Do Exercises That Reduce Swelling
After a hip replacement, you may experience a lot of swelling which could turn serious. However, by doing exercises that help to reduce swelling, you could make your recovery a lot easier. Ankle pumps are really great for reducing swelling, as well as keeping your leg elevated and using ice. Doing too much exercise can result in swelling, so make sure that you’re balancing exercise and rest to reduce the risk of bad swelling.
When the doctor gives you the all-clear to start moving around again, it’s important to start walking every day. Most medical practitioners recommend walking at least 5 times a day in order to keep the blood pumping and reduce the swelling post-surgery. You should make sure that you’re walking with a walker, cane or other walking aid as you may be shaky on your feet, and you don’t want to risk falling over. Gradually start to increase your distance to make yourself feel comfortable walking.
A Note About Diet
Your diet is just as important as exercise when it comes to reducing swelling and aiding recovery. Researchers on cosmetic surgery in Manchester found that patients who ate a diet with plenty of vitamins and anti-inflammatory foods had a significantly better recovery than those who did not. Including foods that have anti-inflammatory properties and have a lot of vitamins such as tomatoes, olive oil, leafy vegetables, strawberries, blueberries, and oranges in your diet is one of the best ways to optimise your hip surgery recovery. Avoiding red meat, white bread and sugary foods is also a good idea, as these can make inflammation worse.
Keeping up with these exercises is one of the best ways you can improve your recovery after a hip replacement – and get back moving in no time.