Posted by Heart Hugger on Nov 17, 2017 7:16:00 PM
After heart surgery, it’s normal to want to return to everyday activities. Your routine will occur with time, but first, your body needs proper rest to heal the sternum after the procedure. To ensure that you recover and advance at the appropriate rate, there are precautions to take for sternum stabilization.
1. Avoid Lifting Heavy Weights
It can be difficult to adjust to limited exercises, but it will help speed up recovery time. If you are used to performing arm exercises, do not lift anything heavier than ten pounds. For the first eight weeks of your recovery, you should only raise one-half or one pound weights to improve sternum stabilization. Ten bicep curls on each side is a gentle start. Make sure to have a pillow or some form of security harness to protect your sternum.
2. Stay Mobile
While you should limit your activities, you should not stop them altogether. Walking is an excellent exercise that allows you to recover and ensures sternum stabilization. Short, ten-minute walks are just as effective as more extended strolls and help to prevent stiffness. Before and after walking, take time to stretch your arms to promote flexibility and strength. Sit in a chair that allows your arms to hang by your sides with fingers towards the floor. In a controlled motion, lift one arm up to shoulder level, hold, then slowly release back down. Repeat on both sides ten times with deep breathes in between.
3. Modify Stretching Routines
Stretching is a low impact activity that does not disrupt sternum stabilization when done correctly. One precaution to take after surgery is never to lift a single arm above your head. You must always lift both arms up at the same time. Raising only one arm can put pressure on your chest and damage the wires holding your sternum together. The best way for you to stretch is to sit in a chair and lift both arms together above your head to extend your arm and core.
To advance the benefits of these precautions you should utilize a sternum stabilization device. Heart Hugger is a reliable device that supports the wound closure and minimizes pain. The device is designed to give you confidence as you gain strength to continue your normal activities.
To learn more about the Heart Hugger and how to take precautions for sternum stability, call us today.