If you are scheduled to have hip surgery, now is the perfect time to start doing Pilates. Even if it seems counterintuitive to start this joint, doing so with the guidance of a skilled and experienced Pilates instructor will strengthen the joint muscles safely. This is just one of the many benefits of participating in Pilates before hip surgery.Pilates before surgery will also help strengthen the tissue surrounding the hip joint and maintain its range of motion. The exercises are gentle and have little or no impact, which means they can be performed even when there is femoral deterioration in the hip. In addition, Pilates helps to break down the compensation habits you may have formed. These are movements or adjustments that you have developed in your body while trying to avoid pain in your hip joint.
“They’re normal,” says Ron Jegadeesh, a Pilates instructor, physiotherapist and owner of Southfield’s Pilates Fitness & Physical Therapy Center, “but they also throw the body out of alignment and further exacerbate their condition.”
Another consideration is the fact that some atrophy will occur after surgery, during the postoperative rest period. By strengthening the hip area before surgery, you will begin the process from a stronger place than if you had not performed any Pilates. In addition, you will also improve your balance by strengthening the core, which will help you after surgery. Maintaining balance will be important once you start rehabilitating this joint; you will be less likely to fall and feel more confident about re-exercising as needed. This is where Pilates comes into play after surgery.
Once you start rehabilitating the hip joint, logic would rule that you will only work the affected side, but there is an imbalance between the two sides of the body that has been exacerbated by the aforementioned compensatory habits you probably developed before surgery. In addition, when it is reached, although there is a clear imbalance around the hip joint and the incision point, the whole body experiences the consequences of the surgery. For example, the brain has to recover from the effects of anesthesia and the body’s immune system is weakened. All of these factors make Pilates a unique qualification for rehabilitation after hip surgery.
Pilates largely avoids high impact, high power output, and heavy muscular and skeletal loading. With the Pilates system, individual units work together in an organized scheme or method. In other words, while working to strengthen the area around the hip joint and increase its range of motion, the rest of the body is oriented as an integrated system.
This is done with an emphasis on core strength and two-way stretching. During hip surgery rehabilitation, you will learn to use the core muscles to support every movement of your body. Under the attention of the instructor, you will perform these exercises with proper alignment to make sure that the muscles establish new fibers in the most beneficial way for the joint. Pilates largely avoids high impact, high power output, and heavy muscular and skeletal loading.
The amount of time you need to recover before participating in Pilates after surgery will depend on many factors. For some patients, particularly those involved in preoperative Pilates, it could take as little as six weeks after surgery. For others, it can take two to three months. Obviously, you first want to get permission from your surgeon.
If available, look for a center that offers both Pilates and physical therapy. Physiotherapists in these settings are also trained in Pilates and use Pilates equipment and machines to further facilitate the recovery of their patients. After the initial physical therapy sessions, patients can be effectively transferred to Pilates with the guidance of their physiotherapist. If this place does not exist near the place where you live, be sure to work only with highly trained Pilates instructors who are able to approach your mobility safely, both before and after surgery.