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Post Surgery Exercise - How Should I Go About Resuming Exercise Following Surgery?

Aug 17, 2007
Exercise following a surgery can be recommended as part of physical therapy that will help improve the patient recover soon.If done in the proper technique it can help greatly by increasing the flexibility , strengthening the muscles,help in stabilizing the joints and keep the cardiovascular and vital body systems functioning effectively.

How soon can one start exercising after surgery depends on the kind of treatment they have had.It is always better to consult ones physician as sometimes doctors recommend at least a week sometimes up to 6 or even 12 weeks of complete rest before even attempting regular routines.

People tend to put on weight after surgery mainly because surgery reduces the metabolic and activity levels in the body leading to weight gain and flabbiness.Thus most patients prefer to do some sort of toning exercises that can help reduce weight.

It is vital to keep oneself well hydrated while exercising as water keeps the endocrine system functioning properly and helps in the lubrication of joints.

Especially after undergoing any kind of surgery one should try and reach their pre-operative level gradually.Always consult a physician first before trying out any kind of exercise.The following are examples of specific exercises for 2 different kinds of surgery :-

Breast Surgery :-

It is normal to experience some amounts of discomfort even a week after surgery but recovery can be aided by doing simple arm exercises given below.Make sure to keep your breathing steady while doing these exercises.

Lift the arm on the side that has been operated on and simulate hair brushing and eating. Do a few reps at most the first few times. Raise that same arm above the heart for an hour, two to three times per day in order to reduce swelling. With the arm raised, gradually open and close the hand, building up to clenching a tennis ball as the discomfort decreases. Alternately bend and straighten the elbow.

After a few weeks you might feel fit enough to perform the following exercise.

Hold a light stick in both your hands with your palms facing up and stretch out your arms .Now slowly lift the stick above your head and hold it up for a few seconds before lowering it below your pelvis and repeat the process several times.


For women who have had a hysterectomy it is important to strengthen the abs,pelvic and back muscles.As with any routine it is always advisable to consult ones physician before beginning.

Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and place your hands behind you head.Press the small of the back gently into the floor first and gradually press it more firmly so that your ab muscles get stretched but don't overdo it as you might experience pain.

Also try and do push ups by gently raising your head and shoulder off the floor but make sure your chin doesn't touch the chest.Repeat this exercise a few times.

For toning the pelvic muscles lift your hips hold for a few seconds and slowly lower them.Do this ten times then alternate with the abdominal exercises.Roll over on your knees but first make sure your knees are well padded or you lie on carpeting so as not to injure them.

Slowly raise one arm and the alternate leg. Alternate. Right arm out, left leg out, then, left arm out, right leg out. Hold each for a second or two, switch and repeat 10 times.

Always take your time while doing these exercises.Although it is normal to feel mild discomfort while exercising,one should stop immediately if they experience intense pain .The key is to build up your strength and stamina slowly over time.
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