Last Updated on July 9, 2021 by JP
After a hip replacement, most people are often quite cautious of doing exercise, as they don’t want to reinjure the hip, but it is crucial to get moving as soon as possible.
It is therefore important to choose an activity that you feel comfortable with, is safe for your hip, and helps to manage hip pain.
Using a recumbent bike for exercise therapy after a hip replacement is a very good option.
There are obviously precautions that still need to be followed, but a recumbent bike is good for managing hip pain and helping to strengthen the hip joint again.
The Importance of Movement After A Hip Replacement
Gradually returning to movement and activity is very important after a hip replacement, and often determines the success of your recovery.
The reason why it is so important to keep the joint moving post-operation is to help with blood circulation to the joint, which helps to reduce potential swelling and pain and thus promote healing.
However, it is recommended to do so safely and progressively, which makes the recumbent bike a perfect option.
Why Choose A Recumbent Bike After A Hip Replacement?
With so many forms of exercise out there, what makes a recumbent bike so special in aiding you with your recovery from your hip replacement?
There are several reasons that are discussed below:
Cycling Is Beneficial After Hip Replacement
As mentioned, movement in your hip joint is extremely important after your surgery.
The reason that cycling is so beneficial is that it keeps the hips mobile and places them in an externally rotated position as you pedal. This is a position that can become very tight post-operation, so it is important to move your hips through this range.
The movement from cycling also helps to lubricate the joints, which leads to decreased pain and swelling.
A Recumbent Bike Is Gentle On The Joints
Although cycling is a low-impact sport in general, recumbent bikes place even less stress on your joints than upright bikes do.
This is extremely helpful after a hip operation, as you don’t want an immense amount of pressure and force aggravating the hip joint.
After a hip replacement, it is not just the hip joint that is impacted, but the knee joint and muscles surrounding it.
This is due to the possible change in leg length that occurs post-surgery, as well as the fact that the body is just trying to adjust to this major change.
This makes it very important to not place excessive load on the knee joint either.
Ease And Comfort Of A Recumbent Bike
A recumbent bike is a very comfortable option after a hip replacement, more so than an upright bike.
A recumbent bike has a wide seat and backrest, both of which an upright bike lacks. These two additions help to support your hips and your back.
Being sedentary after the hip replacement may influence your back negatively, so having the support from the backrest makes a recumbent bike ideal for your back, and any back pain you may be experiencing.
It is also the safer option, as there is a very low chance of losing balance and falling off a recumbent bike, whereas with an upright bike the chances of falling are much higher.
The seat of a recumbent bike is close to the ground, which makes climbing on and off the bike much easier and more comfortable than it is on an upright bike.
Cycling Can Cause Hip Pain
Although there are numerous benefits of using a recumbent bike after a hip replacement, cycling, in general, can lead to conditions such as sciatica, tight hip flexors, bursitis, and overuse injuries if used too often. All of which can cause hip pain.
The chance of this is fairly low, but it is recommended to incorporate strengthening exercises into your rehabilitation program and use a recumbent bike as an additional tool to aid in your rehab.
To sum it up, a recumbent bike can definitely be a good option to use in your hip replacement rehabilitation program.
It’s best to use it in combination with exercises that strengthen the muscles that support your hip, such as the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and abdominal muscles.