Once you have had Knee Replacement Surgery, I have mentioned the fact in previous posts that your physical rehabilitation really never ends. In other words,you should not get to the point where you say “oh well, I am as good as I will get” or better yet, ” whats the use after all, I am 80 years old”.
Those are just two examples of insufficient reasons to stop your rehab or fitness programs. And even though strengthening and range of motion are important during your physical rehabilitation, Stretching is also a big part of the rehabilitation process and becomes an even bigger issue after your PT sessions are over.
However I know working in PT for over 23 years now that many physical therapists will not cover the importance of continued daily stretching and flexibility after total Knee Replacement surgery.
After having my own knee replaced in 1999, I credit a number of things to its longevity. One of those daily habits I do to keep my knee mobile and moving properly during gait or walking and other functional activities is to spend some time stretching my legs with emphasis on my knee replacement.
I personally stretch a minimum of five to seven times a week after my weight training and cardio workout. Recently for the past year however, I have progressed my stretching and training to seven days a week with excellent results.
By properly stretching, you keep the soft tissue around the joint replacement pliable and able to move smoothly and, it gives you the opportunity to keep your prosthesis working through its full range of motion and working smoothly like it was designed to do.
Stretching the surrounding muscle tissue and fascia allows to keep muscle imbalances in check and muscle contractions from forming which happen as we age anyway if we do not spend some time stretching. Stretching and flexibility training is something I will highly recommend to all my patients and clients.
I have worked with many patients and clients in the past that did not keep up with an exercise or stretching program years after their joint replacement and found many of them not only have some pain in the affected areas but have a restricted range of motion as well.
These restrictions which have formed now are causing some additional stress in other parts of their bodies such as their low back or hips for instance.
If you loose the range of motion you originally acquired after physical rehabilitation you may find not only a decrease in your in your ability to walk correctly which changes your gait patterns and creating pain and discomfort in other areas but, you may also begin to have varying degrees of pain within the joint itself.
Its important that you understand that once a joint is replaced it is not to be forgotten about if you plan on staying active and keeping your physical limitations to a minimum.
After taking a long daily walk or riding your bike or weight training. make sure you spend a few moments at the end of the workout to stretch you quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves as the muscle tissue is warmed up from your previous activity.
If you have had your hip or shoulder replaced then you will naturally have other muscle groups involved as well.
Total Joint Fitness LLC