As most people age, their bones become more brittle and a certain amount of a stability is lost in day to day life. This issue is even more pronounced in women who are highly prone to osteoporosis. The weakening of the bones means that even the smallest misstep could possibly end in a hip replacement and months of slow and careful recovery. While rest is an important part of your healing process, so is regaining strength and stability in both legs with the new artificial hip. The best way to recover comfortably and efficiently is to find exercises you can do both in bed and on the go. This way you can smoothly alternate between rest and strength training as your recovery allows.
To help you get started, here's a quick list of five safe and beneficial exercises you can do right after a hip surgery.
1) Ankle Stretches
Ankle stretches can be done from the bed with your legs stretched straight out beside each other. You can do them lying down or sitting up Make sure to keep your knees facing upright but not locked. Point the toe of your leg with the replacement and then slowly raise and flex it. Do this as many times as is comfortable and you can repeat about every ten minutes if you care to.
Another variation is to start with your toes pointed and imagine they can see. Keeping your knee straight, turn your ankle to the left as if it were "looking" at something over there, then turn to the right. This exercise will loosen and strengthen the muscles that help you balance and control your steps.
2) Hip Abduction
Abduction in a medical sense means to move a limb away from the midline and you can strengthen another set of leg muscles by doing so either laying on the bed or standing braced against something to maintain your balance. If in bed, start with your legs straight and parallel with each other then slowly move one leg away until you feel light stretching. Hold it there for two or three seconds and then slowly bring it back to center. To do a hip abduction standing up, brace yourself against the back of a sturdy chair and stand with your legs straight but not locked. Slowly lift your recovering leg with the knee facing straight ahead of you. Hold for two or three seconds and lower.
3) Hip Extension
Hip extensions are something you can do standing up after you've been recovering for a while. The good news is that you're already familiar with them in bed form. To perform a hip extension, stand braced against something with your legs straight and facing forward. Slowly raise one leg out and away from you, staying in line with your body. Hold it for two or three seconds and lower. This is like the bed hip abduction but does require additional balance and control to do safely. If you add this exercise to your regime, consider having someone on hand to spot you just in case.
Finally, the simple act of getting around can be an incredibly beneficial aspect to your recovery. The key to strengthening your leg with every step is to step evenly with very little sway. Go as slow as you need to in order to feel safe and use a walker, crutch, or cane to stabilize in order to avoid the risk of another fall. Remember to stretch and tense your leg correctly with every step to help the leg heal more completely.
Going through hip surgery doesn't have to mean losing our strength or mobility. All you need is a great regime of post-surgery exercises to keep you active and soon have that let back in good working condition. For more senior lifestyle tips and tricks, contact us today!