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General Practice 2023

5 exercises to breathe better after surgery

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5 exercises to breathe better after surgery
5 exercises to breathe better after surgery

To breathe better after surgery, the patient should do some simple breathing exercises such as blowing a straw or blowing a whistle, for example, preferably with the help of a physical therapist. However, these exercises can also be performed at home with the help of a caring family member who can reproduce the exercises taught personally by the physical therapist.

The exercises performed are part of respiratory physiotherapy and can be started while still in the hospital, the day after the surgery or according to the doctor's approval, depending on the type of surgery performed, and must be continued until the patient is no longer need to be rested, bedridden or until he can breathe freely, without secretions, coughing or shortness of breath.Learn more about respiratory physiotherapy.

Some examples of surgeries where exercises can be useful are surgeries that require bed rest, such as knee arthroplasty, total hip arthroplasty and spine surgeries, for example. The 5 exercises that can help improve breathing after one of these surgeries are:

Exercise 1

The patient should inhale slowly, imagining that they are in an elevator that goes up floor by floor. So you should breathe in for 1 second, hold the breath, and keep breathing in for another 2 seconds, hold the breath and still keep filling the lungs with air as long as possible, hold the breath and then release the air, emptying the lungs.

This exercise should be done for 3 minutes. If the patient becomes dizzy, rest a few minutes before repeating the exercise, which should be performed 3 to 5 times.

Exercise 2

Lying comfortably on your back, with your legs stretched out and your hands crossed over your belly. You should inhale slowly and deeply through your nose and then let it out through your mouth, slowly, taking longer than when you inhale. When you breathe out through your mouth, you must release your lips so that you can make noises with your mouth.

This exercise can also be performed sitting or standing and should be done for about 3 minutes.

Exercise 3

Sitting on a chair, supporting your feet on the floor and your back on the chair, you should put your hands on the back of your head and when filling your chest with air, try to open your elbows and when you release the air, try to bring your elbows together, until elbows touch. If it is not possible to do the exercise sitting, you can start lying down, and when you can sit, do the exercise sitting.

This exercise should be done 15 times.

Exercise 4

The patient should sit on a chair and place his hands on his knees. When filling your chest with air, raise your arms straight until they are above your head and lower your arms whenever you release the air. The exercise should be done slowly and looking at a fixed point helps to maintain balance and concentration to perform the exercise correctly.

If it is not possible to do the exercise sitting, you can start lying down, and when you can sit, do the exercise sitting, and it is recommended that it be done for 3 minutes.

Exercise 5

The patient should fill a glass with water and blow through a straw, making balls in the water. You must inhale deeply, hold the breath for 1 second and release the air (making balls in the water) slowly. Repeat the exercise 10 times. This exercise should only be performed sitting or standing, if it is not possible to stay in these positions, you should not perform this exercise.

Another similar exercise is to blow a whistle that has 2 balls inside. Start by inhaling for 2 or 3 seconds, holding the breath for 1 second and exhaling for another 3 seconds, repeating the exercise 5 times. It can be done sitting or lying down, but the noise of the whistle can be annoying.

To perform the exercises, you must choose a quiet place and the patient must be comfortable and wear clothes that facilitate all movements.

Watch the following video and understand better how to do breathing exercises at home:

When exercises are not indicated

There are few situations in which breathing exercises are contraindicated, however it is not recommended that the exercises be performed when the person has a fever above 37.5ÂșC, as it is indicative of infection and the exercises can increase the temperature even more. body temperature. Also, performing the exercise is not recommended at a time when blood pressure is high, as there may be even more pressure change.Here's how to measure pressure.

Exercises should also be stopped if the patient reports pain at the surgery site when performing the exercises, and it is recommended that the physical therapist evaluate the possibility of exchanging the exercises.

For people with heart disease, breathing exercises should only be performed under the supervision of a physical therapist, as complications may arise.

Benefit of breathing exercises

Breathing exercises have several advantages such as:

  • Increase respiratory capacity, as it increases the plasticity of the lungs;
  • Help recovery from surgery faster, as it increases the amount of oxygen in the blood;
  • Avoid respiratory problems, such as pneumonia, due to the fact that secretions do not accumulate in the lungs;
  • Help control anxiety and pain after surgery, promoting relaxation.

These exercises may seem very easy to perform, but they are very demanding for those who are in surgical recovery and therefore it is normal for the individual to feel tired and anxious when performing the exercises. However, it is important to encourage the patient to overcome their difficulties, overcoming their own barriers day after day.

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