The Goodbye Crutches Blog

Exercising After Foot Surgery

Posted by Tom Schwab

Excercise while NWBFor many patients, the prospect of remaining sedentary while bones and tissue heal is a frustrating one. They may feel discouraged by fears that their fitness or weight management goals will simply have to be put on hold. Fears of "gaining weight and losing ground" are common, but patients in recovery shouldn't assume that this must happen. The healing process after foot surgery may require that you stay non weight bearing (NWB), yet there are many options for exercising after foot surgery.

It is important to recognize that following a doctor's post-surgical instructions is essential to a full and complete recovery. Remember, recovery is an activity in itself; a patient is never "doing nothing" during recovery from an injury or surgery. One's body is incredibly active in the internal process of bone healing. Even at rest, a patient after foot surgery expends a lot of energy just by healing. So during the first 6-8 weeks the doctor may instruct you to remain Non Weight Bearing (NWB), allowing bones and tissue to heal without the added stress of weight.  Ultimately this period will allow allows one to return to full weight bearing activities sooner. 

Ultimately, it is the patient's responsibility to ensure their speediest recovery. It is of foremost importance to listen to one's body during the healing process. But while recovery impacts even small daily activities, it need not cause her to abandon her fitness routine altogether. In fact, practices like yoga or sitting Qi Gong aid the body's ways of healing naturally. 

Even while remaining NWB, there are many options for exercising after foot surgery. Other areas of the body, such as the core, arms, and thighs, can be strengthened and toned during the recovery period. Many exercises can be performed at home, while the patient lies on there back. Abdominal crunches, sit ups, leg lifts, and other floor exercises are effective and simple to learn.

Many people recommend exercise DVDs such as Chair Dancing. These guided fitness routines are specifically designed for exercising while staying NWB, and are a convenient way to continue exercising after foot surgery. Some patients have also reported finding a new, fun workout option with the exercise ball. A local gym may offer classes. Using a pool is a fantastic option; flotation devices provide NWB cardiovascular exercise while adding incentive to just float and relax. Rest assured, an enjoyable fitness routine can be found among these options for exercising after foot surgery.

roll-a-boutCrutches can often be the most painful exercise after foot surgery hurting your arms and hands.  There are modern options that provide more comfort, mobility and freedom than crutches. 

Take this quick online quiz to see the best option to crutches for your individual needs.



Topics: Tips, Foot / Bunion, Recovery

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