6 Exercises to Keep Seniors Active After a Hip ReplacementOsmondMarketing
For many seniors, hip pain causes major problems, especially as it limits mobility and interferes with routine activities. Whether the pain is from arthritis, injury, or illness, it negatively impacts quality of life. For this reason, many seniors turn to hip-replacement surgery. Over 300,000 people every year in the U.S. have their hips replaced to help restore their movement and independence.
Although hip-replacement surgery isn’t for everyone, it is a safe and effective procedure that many elderly individuals undergo to return to their daily activities, as well as to boost their happiness, independence, and standard of health.
Having a hip or hips replaced is the first step to being pain free, but exercising post surgery plays an important role in achieving successful recovery. You will more than likely begin working with a physical therapist the day after surgery, or even the day of surgery, to get moving again.
There are major benefits to exercising your new hip properly. These include:
For those who are unable to walk or get out of bed without assistance, it may be necessary to spend a short time in a skilled nursing facility.
While recovering, it is best to exercise two to three times daily. Your doctor will give you exercise instructions, like the ones listed below, so you can easily do them by yourself in the comfort of your own home.
You can begin these basic and convenient exercises shortly after surgery and while lying in bed. Speak with your doctor before you begin a new exercise routine. If you experience any pain, discomfort, or a worsening of your symptoms, stop the exercises immediately and contact your health care provider.
Slowly lift your foot up and down. Repeat this exercise several times, as often as every 5 or 10 minutes. You can begin ankle pumps immediately after surgery and continue them until you are fully recovered.
Glide your foot along the bed toward your buttocks, slowly bending the knee up. It is essential not to bend your hip more than 90 degrees. Slide your foot away from your buttocks to gently straighten your leg. Relax and repeat, performing 30 repetitions and resting when necessary.
These standing exercises can be done within the first three weeks after surgery.
It’s best to do this while holding a kitchen counter or table for balance support. Alternate lifting your knees to waist height in a stationary march. Use both legs for a total of 20 repetitions, repeating 3 to 4 times daily.
Be sure your hip, knee, and foot are pointing straight forward and your body is kept straight. With a straightened knee, lift your leg out to the side. Slowly lower your leg so your foot is back on the floor. Repeat 10 times, 3 or 4 times daily.
You can start these exercises 3 to 6 weeks after surgery, in addition to continuing the beginner and intermediate exercises outlined above.
While lying on your back, bend the knees up so that they are at a 90-degree angle. With your feet flat, push through your feet and lift your buttocks up. Repeat in 10 to 20 repetitions, 2 times daily.
Wrap one end of an elastic loop around a table leg and the other end around one ankle. Grasp a table for balance and stand straight. Keeping the leg straight, pull your ankle back to stretch the elastic loop. Hold this position for a count of 3 to 5, slowly return to the starting position, and repeat the first steps.
The most essential part of your recovery after hip-replacement surgery is your attitude. By dedicating time and finding motivation to do these exercises, you will make your healing process easier and more rewarding. About 12 to 16 weeks after surgery, your doctor may allow you to resume recreational sports.
Functional exercises such as pushing, pulling, and squatting will eventually be incorporated into your exercises, particularly if you are returning to work. Endurance exercises continue, with gradual increases in time and speed, and formal rehabilitation is often complete within 6 months. However, functional limitations—not being able to perform some tasks and activities—may continue for more than a year. Your therapist may give you a home-exercise program to continue indefinitely to maintain strength and range of motion after you finish rehabilitation.
Hip replacement can seem overwhelming, but with the help of your doctor, your loved ones, and your will to stay active, you will benefit from your hard work and regain independence and quality of life in no time.