If you’ve had total hip replacement surgery, you already realize that you can’t make it to the Chubby Checker Twist contest next weekend! It may take up to eight weeks to be able to do light impact exercises and get back to most of your normal activities. Until then, managing your pain after hip surgery is your first priority.
Here are four tips to simplify dealing with the pain:
- Managing pain with ICE: For the first two weeks ice will be very effective in reducing swelling and therefore pain, after hip replacement. Be sure to cover the icepack with a cloth to avoid freezer burning your skin.
- Managing pain with ELEVATION: Slant a stack of three pillows, so that there is little bend in the knee. Pressure under the knee can cause clots. Keeping your feet above the level of your hip will aid the flow of blood.
- Managing pain with stretching: Even when you’re in bed, you can rotate your feet at the ankle. Point and flex your toes to loosen up tight calf muscles. Muscle tightness, muscle spasms, stiffness and pain when you first get up are normal. Managing this pain with stretching will maximize your recovery after hip replacement surgery.
- Managing pain with exercise: Simple exercise routines and walking will be the only activities you’ll want to do during the first 3-4 weeks. NOTE: don’t overdo it! It’s going to be a gradual process to heal. Overworking your muscles and joints can and will set you back. Don’t exercise to the point of feeling pain. Remember you are managing your pain.
Your doctor can advise you of the best exercises to speed your recovery and manage your pain after total hip replacement surgery. He or she will also explain to you the exercises to avoid, such as running, jogging and lifting heavy items. By about 8 weeks you should be able to walk, cycle, swim, golf, hike and do gentle aerobics workouts.
Disclaimer: following this advice does not mean that you can make the next Chubby Checker Twist contest…consult your doctor about that one!