After a hysterectomy, you’re going to notice some changes. Due to the invasive nature of the procedure, you’re going to have some scar tissue and weakness in the pelvic floor muscles.
In today’s post, we’re going to take you through the benefits of exercise after a hysterectomy, as well as how you can structure this exercise to contribute to your recovery.
When Can you Start Exercising Post-Hysterectomy?
The first place to start with post-surgery exercise is strengthening and rehabilitating the pelvic floor.
Pelvic exercises are often possible around 6 weeks post-surgery depending on the procedure and recovery. However, any exercise should be cleared with your surgeon first.
If you perform any pelvic floor exercises that cause pain, discomfort or nausea then you should immediately cease. Don’t be afraid to contact your physician if you are unable to exercise without pain after 8 weeks.
Performing Pelvic Floor Exercises Properly
The first place to start is adopting the right positions to perform the exercises. Begin while totally supinated – on your back – on a flat surface. Keep the feet flat on the floor and the knees bent gently – this variation reduces the resistance applied by gravity.
From here, focus on controlling and slowly squeezing the muscles around your vagina, urethra, and anus – think about pulling them up into your belly button as you squeeze. Gently contract them as far as you can, clenching gently at the ‘end’ of the movement.
Breathe during this exercise.
You can progress this movement to an upright seating position, and then standing. The focus should be the same in each position reaching a comfortable 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions with slow, controlled contractions.
How Caroline Can Help
You might be wondering how Caroline, our women’s health physiotherapist at The Brisbane Spine Clinic can help you with this process.
Working together, she will be your first line of contact for rehabilitation. This means guidance on any problems or challenges you face, as well as personal, compassionate care throughout.
Working with Caroline long-term also offers the opportunity to continuously improve on your pelvic floor strength and reduce the risk of future pelvic pain.
Returning to Regular Exercise
The process of rehabilitating and strengthening the pelvic floor is a very personal one and it’s not possible to provide an accurate projection of recovery times. This is going to be determined by how effectively and consistently you perform your rehabilitation exercises.
Basic, integrative core exercises such as those seen in yoga and pilates are a great place to start and provide a calming, supportive environment for strengthening.
Call to Action
Recovery is going to depend on your individual circumstances. However, well-planned and directed exercise can improve recovery after a hysterectomy.
Get in touch with us if you’d like to book an appointment with Caroline.
Please note, this blog is general in nature and we do recommend talking to your general practitioner who may then refer you to The Brisbane Spine Clinic.