Active people may have difficulty adapting to life after any surgery, especially operations and illnesses that affect the abdomen. Appendicitis is a painful illness that can greatly limit your motion and use of the abdominal muscles while you are affected. Treatment for appendicitis usually includes an appendectomy, surgery to remove the diseased appendix. Strengthening the muscles of the core may help in your recovery by quickening your return to an active lifestyle, but caution must be exercised to avoid injury. Always discuss postoperative activities with your doctor.
Appendicitis is an irritation and inflammation of the appendix caused by an infection. This occurs when the appendix fills with a material -- generally stool, mucus or parasites. The appendix swells, limiting blood flow. The reduced blood flow causes the appendix to die and eventually rupture. If the walls of the appendix rupture, the contents of the appendix spill into the abdomen and spread the infection.
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An appendectomy removes the diseased appendix. Appendectomies are performed both laparoscopically and by traditional means. Laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive, allows for faster recovery and limits damage to the abdominal muscles. Traditional methods require the surgeon to make an incision in the abdomen. Either of these approaches can weaken the abdomen, and postoperative instructions usually include a restriction in your level of activity.
Situps and Appendectomies
The Mayo Clinic recommends avoiding any strenuous activities for five days following a laparoscopic appendectomy and 14 days after an open surgery. At that point, you should discuss your activities with your doctor, but it is generally safe to begin light exercise. Situps are too strenuous and repetitive to perform following surgery, but other activities can be used.
Alternate Core Exercises
Walking is a safe way to restart your activity after surgery. Although it is not generally thought of as an abdominal exercise, walking while paying attention to your posture strengthens your abs passively and safely. With your doctor's clearance, you can begin more focused exercises. Sit on the edge of a chair or bed and steady yourself with your hands. Slowly lift one leg at a time, with your knees bent. Repeat this 12 to 15 times on each leg. As you gain more strength, progress to lifting both legs simultaneously.