After a hip replacement, it is very important to keep the joint mobile and gradually increase the strength in the leg muscles. This is especially true if the hip replacement came after a long period of pain during which the leg might not have been used to its fullest extent.
Here at ProFysio Physical Therapy in Aberdeen, NJ, we know that the leg muscles are responsible for preventing a new hip from dislocating. It is therefore important to rebuild strength slowly to avoid putting stress on the hip in an unstable position (which might include, but are not limited to: allowing the leg to cross the midline of the body, anterior rotation of the leg, or flexing the hip at an angle of 80 degrees or more).
The most important thing you can do for your new hip is walk! Walking isn’t a substitute for organized physical therapy, but it will go a long way toward increasing flexibility and strength. Try to keep your kneecap pointed forward when you walk to avoid stressing the replacement joint.
You might also try these four simple exercises. Consult with the experts ofProFysio Physical Therapy in Aberdeen before doing any of these movements.
Lie on your back on a comfortable surface (such as a bed), put a pillow under both knees. Starting on the same side as the replacement hip, slowly straighten one leg first and, hold your leg extended for a count of five, then gently release. Then do the same using the other leg. You can repeat this up to 15 times. Stop if you experience any pain. Don’t forget to do an equal number on the other side to maintain your balance! The therapists of ProFysio Physical Therapy in Aberdeen, NJ will show you how to do this properly.
Lie on your side with the legs stacked on top of each other. Rotate your top leg upward (aim for a 45-degree angle with your toes), then slowly raise and lower that leg. Repeat 10 times, then switch legs.
Gluteal muscle hip extension
Lie flat on your back with your legs together. Gentle squeeze your gluteal muscles and hold for a count of 5, then release. Repeat up to 20 times. As you get stronger, you can extend the hold up to a count of 10.
Remain lying on your back with your legs together. Tighten the quadriceps (the front of your thigh) and press the back of your knee down. Hold for a count of five, then release. Repeat up to ten times on each leg, stopping if you experience any pain.
If you walk a little every day and do exercises such as these under the supervision of the physical therapists of ProFysio Physical Therapy in Aberdeen, NJ to gradually increase your strength, you and your new hip will be living a full and active life in no time!