Kittle: Prepare your body for joint surgery

If you have pain for more than two hours following exercise you’ve done too much.

Are you on the list for a joint replacement surgery?

In order to have a speedy recovery, it’s most important to get into the best physical shape possible before surgery.

Always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program and ask for any prescribed pre-surgical exercises. If you are having hip or knee replacement surgery, do  exercises to strengthen your upper body to help  cope with crutches or a walker after surgery.

Isometric exercises can help maintain the strength of your leg muscles. Also ask about the exercises that will be prescribed after surgery. If you familiarize yourself with these postoperative exercises and practice them now, they will be easier to perform after the surgery.

Be careful to avoid activities which will potentially increase pressure in damage joints such as running or other high impact activities.

A safe and gentle way to exercise painful joints is in warm water. Doctors often refer patients to pool programs before and after surgery because of the buoyancy and low impact benefits.

Remember that the old saying “No pain, no gain” isn’t relevant today. Pain is your body’s signal that something does not feel good and you need to stop the activity.

Also, if you have pain for more than two hours following exercise you’ve done too much. You will be better off to shorten the duration or reduce intensity of the activity.

As for your diet prior to surgery, it’s important to be nourished for healing of the bones muscles and skin.

Healthy eating is extremely important to provide energy strength, and the power to heal after surgery with less chance of infection. As well, eating a balanced diet helps with me weight management which is very important because for every extra pound of weight that you carry it is equal to four pounds more strain on your hips and knees.

A few other supplements to include in your diet can include calcium to help heal bones; men and women over age 50 should take 1,500 mg a day. Vitamin D can help your body absorb the calcium to build muscle strength.

Vitamin B12 and folic acid can help prevent certain types of anemia. Iron is important to help your body build up hemoglobin in your blood and resist infection.

Vitamins A and C will also help with healing and keep you healthy.

But check with your doctor to determine what supplements or vitamins would be appropriate for your pre- and post-surgery conditions.

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