Patients are asked to keep their movements to a minimum especially if their bodies have gone through extensive surgical procedures. However, a lack of movement can still cause their muscles to cramp up painfully. This is why physicians and doctors recommend certain low impact exercises for such patients.
If you recently had surgery you must first allow yourself some time to heal before engaging in any type of activity or exercise no matter how low impact it is. Failure to take proper precautions will agitate your stitches or cause you to bleed out.
For example, the American Cancer Society website recommends the following exercise procedures during the 3 to 7 days after surgery
- Lie down and raise the arm at the same side of the surgery above heart level for 45 minutes at least two to three times a day. This should be done with the hand on a pillow so that your elbow is slightly higher than your shoulder. Doing so will help get any swelling under control.
- Once your arm is raised above heart level open and close your hand 15 to 20 times. Straighten and bend your elbow as well. Doing this three to four times a day will help pump out any lymph fluid out of your arm.
- Breathe through your diaphragm (the muscle that is situated under your navel) six times a day. Breathe in slowly while lying in your back. Keep inhaling to get in as much air as you can while expanding the diaphragm. Your navel should push out from your spine.
Relax and breathe out the air after a while at least four to five times. Deep breathing exercises like this keep your lungs healthy and in good working order.
Doctors usually recommend a range of motion exercises to help patients restore the flexibility in the arms and legs after surgery. Ankle pumps happen to be one of the most common. To perform an ankle pump, lie on your back with your legs extended. Keep your arms at your side. Next, push or extend your toes out and away from your body. Hold this position for five seconds before relaxing and bringing the toes back to their original position. Keep alternating between both legs until you feel tired.
Low Impact Swimming
Some medical specialists also recommend low impact swimming to improve a patient’s cardiovascular health after surgery. To do this yourself, wade out into the shallow end of a pool until the water comes up to your shoulders. Grab the edge of the pool and let your body extend. Start kicking alternatively with each leg until you feel tired.
Low impact walking is also one of the most common low impact exercises that doctors recommend after surgery. The floor on which you walk must also be level so skip on going for a trek uphill. Just make sure that you don’t go overboard and walk for too long. The same goes for the rest of the exercises.
You must consult your doctor before performing any of these exercises. Your doctor will tell you if performing them at this point will be dangerous for you or not. The last thing you want is another trip to the hospital emergency room so it is best to be safe than sorry.
This is an article by Terry Wood, a health insurance expert with US Insurance.