Those are two examples of poor reasons to stop your rehab and fitness programs. And even though strengthening and range of motion are important during your rehabilitation, stretching is also a big part of the rehabilitation process and even bigger after your PT sessions are over.
In fact after having my own knee replaced in 1999, I credit a number of things to its longevity. And one of those " things" I do to keep my knee mobile and moving properly during gait and basically feeling like my original knee is stretching after my weight workout, or before my workout when training legs.
I personally stretch a minimum of five times a week after my weight training and cardio workout.
By properly stretching, you keep the soft tissue around the joint replacement pliable and able to move smoothly and, it gives you the opportunity to keep your prosthesis working through its full range of motion and working smoothly like it was designed to do.
I have worked with many patients and clients in the past that did not keep up with an exercise or stretching program years after joint replacement and found many of them not only have some pain in the affected areas but have a restricted range of motion as well.
If you loose the range of motion you originally acquired after physical rehabilitation you may find not only a decrease in your in your ability to walk correctly which changes your gait patterns and creating pain and discomfort in other areas but, you may also begin to have varying degrees of pain within the joint itself.
Its important that you understand that once a joint is replaced it is not to be forgotten about if you plan on staying active and keeping your physical limitations to a minimum.
If you have had your hip or shoulder replaced then you will naturally have other muscle groups involved as well.
Stretching should be an important part of your continued physical rehabilitation and fitness programs. For best results stretch 3-6 times a week. Some will stretch daily others less. Find out what works for you!
Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC
" Where Fitness and Rehabilitation Never Ends"