My Father has just had his hip replaced…what on earth should he being doing?
Ok, so before we start getting into the nitty gritty of what exercises he should be performing, lets start by giving a brief overview of the operation, so you get some idea of the muscles that need to be strengthened.
There are various reasons why your dad may require a hip replacement but the most common is due to the hip joint wearing out (also known as osteoarthritis) which over time becomes painful……..…
But don’t worry, hip joint replacements are one of the most common and successful operations performed across Australia!
During the operation, your doctor cuts through the gluteal (bottom) muscles to gain access to the joint. Due to the muscles being cut and pulled around they’ll become weak, combined with the fact that your dad may not have used these muscles correctly before the operation, possibly causing further weakness!
But don’t worry, with the right exercises these muscles will heal and become stronger………
So, getting back to the original question…….…What exercises should he be performing after the operation?
These exercises should only be used as a guide and really require initial supervision from a physio. They target the gluteal (bottom) muscles, so due to the reasons given above, getting your dad to strengthen these muscles will improve his walking and general daily function.
So here we go….……
1. The classic bridge – On the bed, feet apart, arms out for support and squeeze the bottom muscles whilst raising up. Hold for 5 and slowly relax…… Repeat 3 sets of 10 reps.
2. The dreaded clam – This will burn! Lie on your side, legs bent, raise the operated leg up without rolling backwards. Hold for 5 and slowly relax………Repeat 3 sets of 6 reps.
3. The lateral raise – Stand on the good leg, arms out for support, keep the operated leg straight and raise it to the side without tilting your back to the opposite direction. Hold for 5 and slowly relax…… Repeat 3 sets of 10 reps.
4. Lastly – the single leg step down. This is a great way of improving strength of the entire leg. Stand on the operated leg, keep the hips level and perform a slight bend of the knee. Hold for 5 and slowly relax…… Repeat 3 sets of 6 reps.
So for the final point………
Advise your dad that when performing these exercises it is natural to feel a muscular ache around the gluts. Although after the exercise, the ache SHOULD subside.……Any acute sharp pain or pain the following day should be avoided so please consult your physio first!!
All dads are different and an exercise programme should be tailored to everyone of them!!