Following a hip replacement procedure, avid yoga practitioners often wonder when and how they can return to the yoga mat. This is a very important question, because yoga can play a role in your hip’s recovery, but can also do real damage if performed too strenuously, too soon after surgery. Make sure that you find out all you can about your procedure and the ways it can limit your yoga practice in the months following your hip replacement.
What Is a Hip Replacement?
One thing that many patients fail to realize is that there are actually several different types of procedures for hip replacements. Traditional hip replacement surgery can mean an incision that is up to a foot long. This approach involves cutting away several muscles that attach to the hip, then re-attaching them once the new hip is in place. On the other hand, with anterior hip replacement, the surgeon places the incision at such a location and angle so as not to have to cut any muscles. SuperPath hip replacement surgery is among the least invasive procedures possible, involving no surgical dislocation of the hip and only a minor incision, in most cases. This approach can give you one of the fastest recoveries possible following a hip replacement.
What Does This Procedure Mean for Your Yoga Practice?
Depending on the type of procedure you have undergone, your ability to return to your yoga practice will vary. Traditional hip replacement is far more invasive than the newer techniques, and can therefore mean a more drawn-out recovery period. When the muscles are still healing, it is advisable to limit yourself to a very gentle yoga practice, especially one which eliminates forward folds that extend your hip flexors past a 90 degree angle. Be sure to also limit internal rotation of the affected hip for several months. In the case of anterior hip replacement, these guidelines still hold true, though there is generally less chance of injury because the hip should experience a quicker recovery.
Returning to Yoga
When practiced responsibly, yoga can be a great way to regain strength and flexibility after a hip replacement procedure. However, it is of critical importance that practitioners be made aware of the physical differences that a hip replacement entails, and the ways in which this can limit their yoga routine. Too much strain or rotation in the hips, regardless of the type of hip replacement procedure, can spell disaster for your recovery. If you have any doubts about what is and is not a safe pose for your healing hip, be sure to consult a doctor right away.
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