Hernia Injuries: Planning Your Return To Exercise Program

Hernia Injuries: Planning Your Return To Exercise Program

Published - 20th Aug

Hernia Injuries: Planning Your Return To Exercise Program

One of the most common types of injury that will require surgery is a hernia. There are around 70,000 hernia operations carried out in England each year according to the National Institute for Health and Care. Recovery following hernia surgery must be taken slowly, starting with light low impact activities like swimming and gradually building up strength in order to return back to full activity.

Recuperation is different for everyone and you will have to structure a return to exercise plan according to individual needs, starting slowly and building up exercise intensity. Be sure to consult with your medical professional before embarking on any fitness regime. A good return to exercise program could look something like this.

Early post operative exercise

One of the most common types of hernia, is the sports hernia, known medically as Athletic Pubalgia. This type of hernia is common to sports people, and returning to physical activity is often important to this group. The advice given to all patients is to return to physical activity as soon as possible following surgery according to the British Hernia Centre. Start off with light walking and gradually build up duration and distance. Walking will increase your circulation and promote blood flow in the body. This helps the body to repair the damage caused by the surgery and aid a faster recovery. General advice provided by the NHS suggests a minimum of 4-6 weeks should pass before any heavy lifting should be undertaken.

Stepping up your exercise program

After a few weeks you should be able to progress from intensive walking to jogging and eventually running. Again, you will know when it is time to step up your exercise routine, just listen to your body. Once you are pain free you will want to start building up your core strength. This will help to repair the area impacted by surgery and help to reduce the chance of the hernia recurring. Swimming is excellent for overall body toning. Exercise classes such as yoga, tai chi and Pilates target core abdominal and pelvic muscle groups. The Oxford NHS Trust provide good exercises that can be done at home that help patients following abdominal surgery.

Recovering from a hernia and returning to a normal lifestyle is important to us all. Whilst the road to recovery will be different for each person, it is definitely a realistic goal. Plan your return to exercise program carefully and consult your medical practitioner if you are in doubt about anything.

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