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Joint Exercise Program

Human joints are the junctions in our limbs and spine which allow us to move about smoothly and without pain. At least in most cases. Joint pain is one of the commonest reasons that we consult a physiotherapist for advice and exercises for joint pain.

Joint replacement is the major treatment for severely arthritic joints and hip replacement surgery is one of the commonest and most successful joint treatments with some of the highest quality of life improvements of any medical interventions.

Post hip replacement exercises are commonly prescribed by a physiotherapist and are part of normal hip replacement therapy in most hospital units. Standard hip replacement does not usually require much in the way of exercises to restore normal hip function as mobilising into walking with the physio accomplishes much of this.

Hip replacement exercises are useful to help reduce pain, restore normal ranges of movement and improve hip joint strength. A physiotherapist will be able to assess if there is any important restriction of movement such as a fixed flexion deformity which may compromise a patient's ability to stand up straight due to tightness at the front of the hip.

Hip replacement stretches are rarely required unless there is significant restriction as mentioned above, in which case a simple strategy is to lie prone several times a day, stretching out the front of the hip. This can be done under supervision once the patient can safely and comfortably roll onto their front.

Hip resurfacing exercises can be performed more vigorously than exercises for standard hip replacement as this type of surgery uses a much bigger femoral head which reduces greatly the chances of dislocation. To understand the underlying surgery and the reasons for the hip replacement therapy it is informative to watch a total hip replacement video as this illustrates exactly what has been done to the hip during the operation.

Further information on a joint exercise program is available at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons site and the Arthritis Foundation.

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