Yoga After Joint Replacement Surgery? Yes!!!
Usually it's the knees, but for some it's a hip that needs replacing. Many people as they enter middle age find the wear and tear of an active lifestyle has led to the need for surgical replacement of a joint. The recovery time and periods of inactivity that follows can often be disheartening. But yoga, with medical clearance and the right modifications, can help you get back at your favorite activities sooner than you think.
The benefits of yoga are myriad and many are well know--greater flexibility, improved mobility, muscle strengthening, stress and pain reduction, and even improved digestion. A yoga practice helps to strengthen the muscles and connective tissue around the new joint.
Possibly the most beneficial aspect of practicing yoga to recover from joint replacement surgery is it's focus on making practitioners more aware of their body, including the muscles and joints, and also the internal mental atmosphere in the present moment. This awareness brings an overall improvement in posture and of the body's alignment and the new joint.
The stress-reducing effects of yoga can help with the mental stress that comes along with recovery. Even elective surgery is a major event in our lives and for our bodies. Yoga can help to reduce postoperative pain minimizing the time need to take painkillers.
Of course like any major surgery, you ghouls get your orthopedic surgeons clearance before beginning practicing yoga again. New joints will have their limitations and it's important for you to discuss this with your doctor. Knowing these parameters around your range of motion will help you use yoga props to adjust the pose to meet your bodies needs.
Always let your yoga instructor know about your joint replacement before beginning class. This will help them offer you the best modifications for each pose. Never assume that they know about joint surgery and advocate for yourself when a suggested modification isn't working.
Beginner-friendly and gentle yoga classes are the perfect places to start your journey back on the mat after surgery. Go slowly and always feel free to come out of any pose to readjust or when it feels like it's time for your body to come out of the pose. Never push into pain. Give yourself time to make progress in way that is helpful to your bodies recovery.
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