This is a hip replacement recovery tip that was a long time coming.
After my second hip replacement (right side), I ended up with a leg length discrepancy. It was an understatement to say that I was upset. In the first few weeks post-surgery it looked as if my right leg was two inches longer. Thankfully, it wasn't that severe; perhaps it looked so bad because of the initial swelling.
I eventually accepted that I would need to get a lift put on each pair of shoes I bought. For almost twenty years, I would take my shoes to a local cobbler to get a half-inch lift put on my shoe.
In 2019, that all changed. I found a stretching program that I have been doing ever since.
"Essentrics dynamically combines strengthening and stretching to develop a strong, toned body with the complete ability of moving each joint and muscle freely and with full range of motion." - Essentrics website.
Essentrics incorporates several principles:
- PNF stretching (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) - a muscle is stretched to its limit, which then forces the brain to release the muscle even more so that it won't tear.
- Isotonic movement - muscle resists weight as it goes through a range of motion.
- Tai-Chi - gentle, flowing exercises that are sometimes referred to as "meditation in motion.
It bears repeating that if there are some movements that you should not do for whatever reason, don't do them. Adapt them or find an alternative. That works for me.
Gradually, I noticed that I no longer needed that lift glued onto my shoes. Not only is Essentrics Essential for RA, I think these stretching exercises are essential for everyone!
Note: Always check with your healthcare professional to see what exercises are right for you. Be especially careful to follow your surgeon's recommendations when it comes to what you can and can't do with your joint replacement.