At least three of my current clients have hip replacements of one or both of the hips. For those who have hip or knee replacements, it’s very important to keep active, maintain flexibility and to continue to stimulate blood circulation to the post-surgery hip. In the current time, more and more people are living longer, and more have had hip replacement. Hip replacement is not just for the older person; but people in their forties and fifties are getting hip replacements. A few of my clients who have survived horrific car accidents, have been advised to get a hip replacement.
Modified yoga is made up of gentle lunges and poses that help stretch the hip- joint, and keep the ligaments and cartilage limber. This is one of the most important elements to post hip surgery is; blood flow and stretches that continue to aid flexibility. When the hip gets tight; hamstrings, quad muscles, the buttocks and the back can becomes super tight.
Poses like Downward dog, also called inverted “V” stretch the hamstrings, quad muscles and the Gluts. Standing lunges assist the hip ligaments, and warrior is another pose that lengthens and stretches the hamstring to the hip. Another great stretch for the hips, is to open your legs in a super wide stance, and lower your hands down, between your legs, to a center spot on the floor. Shift slowly side to side, towards each foot. This eases the hips open. If you can, you can go a bit further in the stretch, but only if you can do it without pain. Place our hands down in center, and place one elbow down, and shift slowly to one side for about ten seconds, and then to the other side. In order to do it, if you put the left elbow down, you would shift right for ten seconds or longer, and if you put your right elbow down, you would shift left for the same time.
You can also stretch in a modified CHAIR yoga class. It doesn’t have to be a mat class if you can’t get up and down. One great chair stretch is to pivot your hips along with your legs to the left while seated, and then stretch your right leg out to your right, as if you were lunging to the left. Bring your right palm to point at the right heel, and then sweep your right arm under your chin, past your body, to the left side of the chair arm. Stretch your arm out towards your left, and then sweep it back to your right heel once again. After a rest, in the same position, you can have both hands on the left arm of the chair, and stretch your right arm up towards the ceiling.
If you are able to stand with your back to the wall, bend one of your knees and bring it into your chest. This stretches the hip, in a gentle, effective manner. Bring your chin down to your knee. Release and put your foot safely back to the ground. Do the other side. If you are seated, you can bring one foot up on the chair, with your knee up in front of your chest, and bring your head down to meet your knee. Release and switch side. Place the other foot on the chair and bring your knee up, and bring your chin down to meet your knee.
The great thing about modified yoga classes, is that you will find, there are many gentle stretches that you can do to stretch your hip and legs. Modified poses means that you can use a strap when you are less flexible, and when you are recovering from a hip replacement, sometime you can’t do too much, so a strap is helpful to avoid strain. You don’t have to do all the exercises and poses. You can do what feels best for your body. It’s okay to rest while you are recovering.
Many clients with hip replacements don’t have the same stamina. At first anything you do will feel like an exertion. You have to be patient with yourself. Don’t rush, your recovery. Do what you can do, stretch in a modified yoga class, and little by little your body will recover post-surgery, and you will feel stronger and more agile than before you had a hip replacement. That’s right, many people are afraid to have a hip replacement, and it takes a couple of months to fully recover, but after it’s done, many people say they have no pain, and can move better than ever before.
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