Should you exercise before surgery?
Despite the speed of minimally invasive surgery, the hip replacement process happens weeks in advance. The surgeon would recommend a pre-habilitation program with hip exercises. Exercises stretch and strengthen the surrounding muscles while speeding up recovery. Other benefits include improved circulation and reduced muscle fatigue. Studies also show that preoperative exercise reduces pain and the chances of complications. The following exercises are particularly helpful for hip replacements.
Try heel slides
Heel slides focus on the hips, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Start by laying down, face-up on a bed or exercise mat. Bend the knee and slide the foot of the painful side toward the buttocks without raising the heel. Return the foot to the starting position, then repeat 10 times. Switch feet to strengthen both sides of the hip.
Move to leg slides
Leg slides start in the same position as heel slides. Instead of bending the knee, slide the impacted leg away from the body. Keep the kneecap and toes pointed to the ceiling. Return to the starting position and repeat as directed in a fluid motion. This exercise is perfect for hip abduction and adduction.
Strengthen those glutes
Gluteal sets are a simple but effective exercise. These muscles are often overlooked in supporting the hips. Lay down on a flat surface like a bed or exercise mat. To perform the exercise, squeeze the glute muscles and hold as directed.
Performing bridges stretches and strengthens the core, glutes, and hamstrings. Patients should start lying down face up on a bed or exercise mat. Slide both feet up so the knees are at 90 degrees. Place the arms at the sides, tighten the core, and raise the hips to the ceiling. Hold the position for a few seconds, then return to the starting position.
Standing hip abduction and extension
Stand next to a sturdy chair, countertop, or wall for support. Hold on to the surface, extend the leg behind, and return to the starting position. Next, perform an abduction exercise by extending the leg away from the body. Repeat both motions as directed.
A stronger hip
These are some of a few vital exercises that may make surgery easier. Physical therapy also starts after surgery, so these exercises give patients a head start. Exercise before surgery can make up a part of a rapid recovery strategy, helping patients move even faster.