Covid has meant that so many surgeries have been delayed, so many of us might be waiting for knee and hip replacements. It can be frustrating and debilitating to wait for a long time, and when the surgeries keep getting pushed back or canceled.
If you’re waiting for a hip or knee replacement, what can you do in the meantime?
Pilates exercises at home or in the studio.
We work with lots of clients after they’ve had their surgeries – you can resume activity eight weeks after major surgery – but you can also do exercises and stretches before your surgery to manage your pain and discomfort.
Getting into the habit of exercising before your surgery will make it easier to resume stretching and exercises when you’ve come out of surgery.
When I was first training to teach Pilates, my hairdresser told me he’d had a double knee replacement. He did his exercises religiously, and he said that it was the only way that he’d been able to resume working in the hair salon.
You can use a prop like a mini stability ball to manage hip discomfort by sitting on it for 90 seconds at a time. Sitting on the stability ball also helps to relax a tight pelvic floor. You can relieve hip pain (and strengthen your glutes too) by doing mat stretches like heel squeeze prone.
Everything is interconnected. Knee pain and issues are, 95% of the time, issues with the ankles or the bum. So, when you do exercises to manage knee issues, don’t neglect the ankles and the glutes. When you’re in the studio with me and you have knee aches, I go right to the tush and the ankles to help with the knees.
One of my clients who has arthritic hips had a flat pancake bum when she started Pilates (which is why she had arthritic hips in the first place). We worked a lot to build her glute strength and wake up the sleepiness in her bum, and it drastically helped the chronic pain in her hips.
Don’t wait until after your surgery to stretch and exercise. Get into the habit now, especially if your surgery is pushed or you’re not sure when it’ll happen. It’s one of the best ways to feel better while you wait for your surgery.