Ester Marsh column: Are you dealing with hip issues?

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 11, 2017

First, I would like to take a moment to honor all the people who lost their lives in 9/11 16 years ago.

With all the hurricane damages and Irma’s wind and rain on our doorsteps and the memory of 9/11, it’s sometimes hard to move forward. We understand that Mother Nature is in control and we better take care of her. However, through all trials and tribulations, we have to keep our chin up and keep doing our best to take care of our world, our nations, communities, families, friends and our own body. My mom has been on my mind a lot lately and God knows my heart. She had two hip replacements, which did wonders for her, so I figure I would share some great information if you are dealing with hip issues or hip replacement.

If you have been diagnosed with hip problems, exercise can really help you prepare, prolong or even prevent surgery. Sometimes, surgery is the only way to recover from an injury, overuse or degeneration. Communicate with your doctor — they can tell you what you can and what you can’t do. Once again, I have never heard a doctor tell someone not to exercise.

If you have surgery, whether it’s a labrum repair or hip replacement, understand that physical therapy is a very important part of your recovery. Strength and flexibility exercises will be taught, and many of them need to be done at home on a daily basis.

If you don’t do the exercises they give you to do every day, the surgery will not be the success it can be. Not doing your exercises can have impact on the scar tissue which will limit your movements if not properly exercised.

Early postoperative exercises after hip surgery/replacement:

 Ankle pumps — slowly push foot up and down. Do this as often as every 5 or 10 minutes.

• Ankle rotations — Move your ankle inward toward your other foot and then outward away from your other foot. Do this 5 times in each direction 3-4 times a day.

• Bed-supported knee bends — slide your heel to your buttocks, bending your knee and keeping your heel on the bed. Do not let your knee roll inward. Ten times, 3-4 times a day.

• Buttocks contractions — tighten the butt muscles and hold for a count of 5 seconds.

• Abduction exercise — slide your leg out to the side as far as you can and slide it back.

• Quadriceps — tighten your thigh muscle. Try to straighten your knee. Hold 5-10 seconds.

• Straight leg raises — tighten your thigh muscle with your knee fully straightened on the bed. As your thigh muscle tightens, lift your leg several inches of the bed. Hold 5-10 seconds. Slowly lower.

Exercises such a bicycle riding, climbing stairs, dancing, golf, hiking, swimming, walking are also very beneficial for a healthy hip (and body) High impact sports, running and heavy lifting would not be recommended with hip issues or after hip surgery, at least not for a while, so make sure to check with your doctor and physical therapist if you are ready for those kind of exercises/sports.

So listen to your doctor, physical therapist and nurses. Take care of each other and keep your chin up.

Ester H Marsh, Health & Fitness Director JF Hurley YMCA

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