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Help each other (and you'll help yourself).

May 22

Regaining your strength after surgery can be a slow process. Remember that today is just a starting point.

 

Walk!  The best thing you can do after surgery, once you get the OK from your physician, is walk. It will help clear your lungs and body of the effects of surgery. It will help get your body functioning regularly again.

 

When you’ve healed from the surgery and your doctors clear you, start working to regain full range of motion.  Start by slowly trying to move and stretch. Depending on the type of surgery, the tightness and scarring can cause a variety of problems with range of motion and posture.  Over time these problems can cause weakness, loss of mobility and chronic pain.

 

Always do stretches slowly, stretching only to the point of slight discomfort, hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds.  Make sure to keep breathing during the stretch.  You may have some discomfort when you start. A little discomfort is all right, but sharp pain is not OK!  If you experience any sharp pain, stop stretching immediately and talk to your doctor about it.

 

Only start rebuilding strength after you’ve regained good range of motion.  It’s important to strengthen the muscles that work in opposition to the area where you had surgery: if you had abdominal surgery, pay special attention to strengthening your back; if you had breast surgery, work the muscles of your upper back.

 

Please visit Fitness for Survivors, the Life-Cise blog, for more exercise tips.

 

Today is just a starting point; the key is to start.

 

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