When you are discharged the instructions will include any activity restrictions you may have. These may include driving, lifting, housework, sitting, stairs, sports, sexual activity, or returning to work.
Why do I have to follow these instructions? Why can’t I do whatever I want to?
It is very important to follow the physician’s instructions regarding activity. The doctor can generally predict how long it will take to recover from acute injuries or illnesses. Failing to follow your activity restrictions may actually prolong your recovery period. Your condition may worsen. If you are taking pain medication it can make you drowsy. This could make certain activities unsafe, putting you and others at risk. If you have an incision it may put too much stress on the area causing a delay in healing.
What if nothing is indicated?
If nothing is indicated you have no restrictions. However, you may want to take it easy the first day or two after discharge and gradually resume your normal activity. If you tire more easily, take frequent rest periods.
What if I don’t feel like being as active as instructed?
It is also important to increase your activity as instructed. Failing to do so may cause a delay in a return to your normal strength or ability to perform your activities of daily living.
A lack of activity as instructed may cause other complications. Pneumonia can be caused by not taking enough deep breaths to fully expand your lungs or by immobility causing a fluid buildup in your lungs. Blood clots can form in prolonged periods of inactivity due to blood pooling in the legs.
What if I can’t perform the activities when expected?
If you were unable to perform these activities before your illness or injury, don’t expect to be able to perform them upon discharge.
However, if your tolerance for activity is decreasing or you are developing other symptoms you will need to check with your physician immediately.
How long do I have to follow these instructions?
If a specific time frame is not indicated the restrictions remain in effect until you have your follow-up appointment with your physician.
This information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.