A hysterectomy is a surgical removal of the uterus and or cervix and ovaries and can performed through the vagina or abdomen. Post-operative side effects are always a medical concern; however, many of them can be prevented with physical therapy. It is beneficial to prepare your body for a hysterectomy by having a physical therapist align the musculoskeletal system to reduce pain and speed the healing process. When the body is properly aligned it will heal more efficiently.
During the early recovery phase, one should perform deep breathing exercises, increase leg and foot circulation exercises to prevent DVTs, and implement whole body movement exercises in bed. Walking is a tremendous exercise to execute to improve circulation, breathing, and reduce joint stiffness and physical decline from bed rest. Avoid strenuous abdominal exercises and strengthening exercises for three months post-hysterectomy. Intense core exercises can increase the downward pressure in the pelvis as well as where the hysterectomy was performed, and can result in other complications. You may begin pelvic floor strengthening exercises once your physician has given you approval. Your physical therapist can verify if you are successfully contracting the pelvic floor muscles.