Modified yoga poses help recover from hip replacement surgery
At least three of my current clients have had hip replacements of one or both hips. For those who have hip or knee replacements, it is very important to stay active, maintain flexibility, and continue to stimulate blood flow to the hip after surgery. Today, more and more people are living longer and more have undergone hip replacement. Hip replacement isn’t just for the elderly; but people in their forties and fifties are getting hip replacements. Some of my clients who have survived horrible car accidents have been advised to have a hip replacement.
Modified yoga is comprised of gentle lunges and poses that help stretch the hip joint and keep the ligaments and cartilage flexible. This is one of the most important elements for the postoperative period of hip surgery; blood flow and stretches that continue to aid flexibility. When the hip gets tense; The hamstrings, quads, glutes, and back can become very tight.
Poses like downward facing dog, also called inverted “V,” stretch the hamstrings, quads, and glutes. Standing lunges help the hip ligaments, and warrior is another pose that lengthens and stretches the hamstring through the hip. Another great stretch for the hips is to open your legs in a super wide stance and lower your hands, between your legs, to a center point on the floor. Move slowly from side to side, toward each foot. This makes it easier to open the hips. If you can, you can go a little further into the stretch, but only if you can do it without pain. Put our hands down in the center, and place one elbow down, and slowly move to one side for about ten seconds, and then to the other side. To do so, if you lower your left elbow, you will move to the right for ten seconds or more, and if you lower your right elbow, you will move to the left for the same amount of 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. A great chair stretch is to rotate your hips along with your legs to the left while sitting and then stretch your right leg out to the right, as if you were lunging to the left. Bring your right palm toward your right heel, and then reach your right arm under your chin, across your body, to the left side of the chair arm. Stretch your arm to the left and then rotate it to your right heel once more. After a break, in the same position, you can have both hands on the left arm of the chair and stretch the right arm towards the ceiling.
If you can stand with your back to the wall, bend one of your knees and bring it toward your chest. This stretches the hip in a gentle and effective way. Lower your chin to your knee. Release and safely return your foot to the ground. Do the other side. If you are sitting, you can put one foot up on the chair, knee up in front of your chest, and lower your head until it meets your knee. Release and switch sides. Place your other foot on the chair and lift your knee, lowering your chin to meet your knee.
The best thing about modified yoga classes is that you will find many gentle stretches that you can do to stretch your hips and legs. Modified poses mean you can wear a strap when you’re less flexible, and when you’re recovering from a hip replacement, at some point you can’t do 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 recover.
Many clients with hip replacements do not have the same resistance. At first, anything you do will feel like an effort. You have to be patient with yourself. Don’t rush, your recovery. Do what you can, stretch in a modified yoga class and little by little your body will recover after the surgery and you will feel stronger and more agile than before the 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 doing it, many people say they have no pain and are able to move better than ever.