Did PT help you adjust to new muscle movement after weight loss?

Posted by sarahfaris @sarahfaris, Sep 12 8:00am

I lost 200 lbs with Roux-En-Y gastric bypass (2019). After a series of hikes where my balance and toe dragging became problematic, I began work with a physical therapist to correct my gait. Going up stairs, I also developed a phantom limb issue with my right leg (even though I still have my leg) about 8 months post surgery/100lbs down. It was explained to me that when using large muscle groups to carry around all that weight, the smaller ones (typically stabilizers) don't get the same attention. I was definitely swinging my arms around and leaning to the opposite side with lateral movement too. After a lifetime, my brain needed training to recognize the muscles in the back of my legs and work with them to carry my new lighter body, just differently. I also developed some ranges of motion in my hips that required some new strength training (mostly with external and internal rotators). I'm curious, did any of you all need PT for something similar? What kinds of exercises and activities do you find to be the most helpful, and do you still do them regularly? I'm finding this to be a point of discussion somewhat absent from the pre-operative landscape, yet very meaningful to many post-operative folks. There also seem to be an absence of literature out there addressing post weight loss PT.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Bariatric Surgery & Weight Loss group.

I am actually having this issue before surgery due to an accident and yes I’m working with PT. One of the items I bought to keep working on movement and strength and making the muscles “fire” that weren’t properly moving was the therapy ball or Pilote ball.
Then I go get a massage from time to time to make sure circulation is adequate and then a chiropractor just to make sure I have full movement and nothing is pinched or locked up from years of none non usage.
I hope this helps!

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@sarahfaris, great topic! I'm tagging fellow members like @a4alicat @ealeonard1214 @nova1976 @roch @liver2007 @sharonrider @kattip @arichards198317 @aprilarlady @aunt to get their experiences and input about adjusting to weight loss and retraining muscles to adapt.

Sarah, can you start off the discussion by answering the questions you asked? What kinds of exercises and activities do you find to be the most helpful? Do you still do them regularly? What new things are you able to do now and enjoy?

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@colleenyoung

@sarahfaris, great topic! I'm tagging fellow members like @a4alicat @ealeonard1214 @nova1976 @roch @liver2007 @sharonrider @kattip @arichards198317 @aprilarlady @aunt to get their experiences and input about adjusting to weight loss and retraining muscles to adapt.

Sarah, can you start off the discussion by answering the questions you asked? What kinds of exercises and activities do you find to be the most helpful? Do you still do them regularly? What new things are you able to do now and enjoy?

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Sure, I'm happy to share. I find yoga to be super helpful in maintaining flexibility– I get the most out of coupling it to strength training exercises both the day before and after. For the hip rotator issues I have been doing banded clam shell exercises on a slow ten count, leg lifts, and banded multi-directional hip flexion/extension exercises (front, lateral, and back). Core strengthening helps too– for example, in a bridge pose place feet on an exercise ball with knees flexed, then let feet extend forward until the ball ends up behind the knees. Pull knees back in and repeat 10x while maintaining bridge pose. This lets me strengthen both my core and the back of my legs nicely.

Post weight loss I can do all kinds of things that were not sustainable longer than a few seconds before– walking and running, bike riding, yoga, planking, sit ups, tennis, etc.. In general my balance has been much better, and my agility has increased dramatically. I still move as though I need to account for the "jiggle factor" out of habit, but when I concentrate things move smoother and faster.

I have a suspicion that some other parts could use some help– particularly my back and shoulders (for posture). I'm very curious to know about upper body PT post weight loss if anyone has had some.

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What a great topic! I never gave this any thought until you brought this up. I am 20 years post op and continue to keep a 200lb weight loss at bay, though not easy. I'm about to turn 65 and discovering issues with some of my muscles being weak or even unused? I've been tossing around the idea a of PT to see if any improvements may occur, especially in my legs which remain rather large. I had a total hip replacement 4 years ago and things have been "off" ever since. I'm considering a visit with my hip surgeon to make sure things are ok first. I tend to stumble a bit on occasion which concerns me as I age. I'd be curious to know what leg exercises you are doing with your PT that might help strengthen them. Keep us posted!

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