Hip replacements are incredibly taxing, both physically and mentally. If you were quite active before you had your hip replacement, then it can also be incredibly frustrating waiting around to be able to get up and exercise again.
If you’ve found your way to this article, then you’re probably wondering when you can run again after you’ve had a hip replacement. Well, we’ve put together a list of steps you should take when it comes to getting back into running, as well as anything else you need to know.
Can You Run After A Hip Replacement?
If you’re looking for a simple “yes” or “no”, then we, unfortunately, cannot provide you with either. Running after you’ve had a hip replacement isn’t that black and white. There are lots of things you need to take into consideration first.
Some people will be able to run again after a hip replacement, but some will not be able to. It depends on the prosthetic itself, your weight, your level of fitness, and what your doctor or surgeon recommends.
If you can’t run after a hip replacement, then, unfortunately, it is best that you follow that advice and don’t run.
If you do attempt to run, you run the risk of damaging your hip prosthetic which will likely cause further complications.
Talk To Your Doctor or Surgeon
Before you jump straight back into running, it is extremely important that you talk to your doctor or surgeon first. Ask them outright if you will be able to run again and if they say yes, ask them what you need to do in order to keep your prosthetic in good condition.
It doesn’t matter how many articles you read online about it, the advice and recommendations of your doctors are the most important and accurate information you’re going to get. They are there to help you and they know exactly what they are talking about.
Do not do anything that is outside the advice of your doctors. If you do, you could cause complications to your hip replacement.
Steps To Take To Get Back Into Running
If you have been given the green light to start running again, then there are a few steps you should take. Don’t just jump straight back into it! Hip replacements and running are not an ideal combination and they don’t usually work together, so proceed with caution and take it slow.
Step 1: Walk, Don’t Run
When you first get back into running, it is important that you start with walking. Set up a daily walking routine and stick to that while you get used to being mobile again. This will help you get used to your hip prosthetic and help you rebuild any muscle that you need to.
A great way you can help to speed up this process is to use walking poles. They will help in balancing your energy and keeping you mobile for longer periods of time.
Step 2: Build Up Your Leg Muscles By Swimming
One of the best things you can do when you’re trying to get back into running after a hip replacement is to swim. It is especially great when you’re still in the recovery phase because swimming will help you rebuild your leg muscles.
Because you mainly float when you’re swimming, this means you don’t have to go full on and the risk of shock damage is extremely low.
Step 3: Focus On Your Stride
When you are ready to start running again, you need to make sure above everything that you aren’t twisting the joints around it. You need to focus on your stride when you are running and you need to make sure you are sticking to flat and even surfaces.
Don’t go running on any uneven surfaces, and avoid running up hills and going around sharp turns. You likely won’t be able to run for very long either, so take it slow and steady. As long as you stick to the flat and even surfaces and pay attention to your stride, you should be ok.
Step 4: Ice Is Your New Best Friend
After every run you go on after your hip replacement, you need to make sure you get an ice pack and place it on your hip. By doing this, you will reduce the risk of inflammation and keep your hip from experiencing any extra pain. Keep it elevated while you are applying ice to the area too.
Step 5: Make Use Of A Stationary Bike
Another way to build up your leg muscles and get used to running again is to use a stationary bike. Not only do they build up those muscles, but they also keep you flexible and fit. This is a low-impact exercise as well, so the risk of injury is decreased.
Rest When You Need To
Regardless of what methods you use, it is extremely important that you rest when you need to. As soon as you feel discomfort or you start to run out of energy, rest immediately.
Once you’ve had your hip replaced, you’re going to have to completely change the way you run, and this means you can’t push yourself in the same way you did before. It takes some adjusting, but regular rest and stopping when you feel even the slightest bit of pain will help with the longevity of your hip prosthetic.
Being able to run after a hip replacement largely depends on each individual and the medical advice of their doctor. It is very important that you do not attempt to run without your doctor’s permission.
If you are able to run after your hip replacement, make sure that you take it slow and always give your hip the right amount of aftercare. Listen to your body when you are on a run and when you feel any discomfort, stop.