Too many of us as patients me included, get caught up in doing everything possible to get ourselves back to a full recovery as soon as possible after orthopedic or medical surgery.
I remember back when I had my knee replaced even though I work in rehab profession, I went crazy with my physical rehabilitation at first, working out two to three times a day at the gym, mine you nothing crazy but, I did in hind sight push myself too far at the beginning.
Only after I suffered from increased pain and swelling in my surgical knee did I learn to throttle back my Exercise
program and give the knee a fighting chance to heal. Of course, there is much more that goes into recovery after a knee replacement or other types of surgery other than exercise too. Other areas of prime importance is your dietary choices and your sleep habits just to name a couple.
Physical rehabilitation exercises, for the most part, should be done in my estimation no more than two times a day. I have mentioned this in previous posts as well. Over the last 23 years treating patients and clients cannot tell the difference or outcome between the patient that is completing their exercises two times a day or three times a day whether it is a knee or hip replacement for instance.
Both come out on equal ground in the end. The only difference is that the patient that is rehabbing three times a day may go through more chronic pain and swelling during the course of the recovery process. This is the case when someone also is too active around the house too soon, for example, doing household chores plus doing their physical rehabilitation three times a day.
Of course, the exercise frequency and how it affects each patient will differ as well like anything else and it will also depend on the volume and the intensity of the assigned exercises too.
I recommend to my patients to complete a session once in the morning and once in the afternoon no matter what surgical procedure you had done if exercise is prescribed in the first place. Endless exercise sessions result in poor recovery and unnecessary pain and swelling in the end.
Will most patients make it through their recovery? Yes, but they will have done it the hard way.
And I do not give out badges of courage for those that take my directions on their home exercise program then double it then complain to me how much pain they have on my next visit.
No matter whether you are recovering from surgery or a weight training session, trying to lose weight, or get stronger, your body needs time to recover properly through rest, proper eating and hydration as well.
This is extremely important after a surgical procedure as your body is working hard to recover and heal itself. Using up all your healing properties due to the ” more is better” syndrome will only slow down your recovery and work against everything you’re trying to do to recover in the first place.
If you have had an experience with over training in the past after surgery or, have a comment you would like to add to the post please leave a comment below for all to read and possibly learn from your experience.
Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC
” Where Fitness and Rehabilitation Never Ends”