Physiotherapy Exercises for Relieving Gas Pain After Hysterectomy

Gas pain after hysterectomy is a common painful side effect of abdominal, vaginal and laparoscopic hysterectomy.

Fortunately some simple Physiotherapy exercises can help relieve gas after hysterectomy and promote hysterectomy recovery.

Read on below this video to learn:

  • 7 physiotherapy exercises to relieve gas pain after hysterectomy
  • What causes gas pain after hysterectomy surgery
  • Benefits of exercises for gas pain after hysterectomy
  • How long gas pain lasts after hysterectomy
  • How often to perform these exercises
  • Precautions and tips for exercises after hysterectomy

Exercises for Gas Pain After Hysterectomy Video

This Physiotherapist video guides you through 7 exercises to safely relieve gas pain after hysterectomy.

Video suitability: women during postoperative recovery after abdominal, vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy
Video duration: 6.5 minutes

Hysterectomy Recovery Exercises e-Book

Hysterectomy Recovery Exercises

Reduce the risk of common hysterectomy side effects and promote the speed of your recovery.

Ideal for:

  • Early hysterectomy recovery (abdominal or vaginal hysterectomy)
  • Preparing for a hysterectomy
  • Reducing the risk of common side effects e.g. low back pain, constipation and gas
  • Preparing your body for return to work and regular activity.

1. Lumbar Rotations

  • Lying down knees bent and feet flat supported on the mattress
  • Keep knees close together and slowly roll both knees side to side
  • Rotation action needs to be small to avoid twisting through your trunk
  • Both feet remain in contact with the bed – don’t raise feet off the bed during this exercise

2. Pelvic Tilts

  • Lying down knees bent and feet flat supported on the mattress
  • Gently flatten or press your lower back into the space between lower back towards the mattress
  • Return to starting position with a slight inward curve in your lower back

3. Heel Slides

  • Lying down with your legs extended on the mattress
  • Bend one knee by sliding the heel on the mattress towards your buttock
  • Extend the leg by sliding your heel away from your buttock

4. Massage Upper Abdomen

  • Lying on your side or on your back with both knees bent
  • Gently massage your upper abdomen (above your navel) in a clockwise direction

5. Standing Pelvic Rocking

  • Stand supporting your upper body by leaning against a window sill or the high back of a chair (stabilized)
  • Gently rock your hips from side to side

6. Standing Hip Rotation

  • Stand supporting your upper body by leaning against a window sill or the high back of a chair (stabilized)
  • Gently roll your hips as if using a hula hoop in one direction and then repeat in the other direction

7. Walking

  • Intermittent walking though the course of the day attending to good upright posture
  • Refer to our guidelines for walking after hysterectomy

What Causes Gas Pain After Hysterectomy

Abdominal pain hysterectomy

Gas pain can occur after abdominal hysterectomy1 and women often describe this as debilitating and sometimes worse than their wound pain.

Vaginal hysterectomy also causes bloating and lower abdominal gas pain due to slowed bowel movement.

There are 2 main causes of gas pain after hysterectomy:

1. Slowed colonic transit (bowel movement) – this causes a build up of gas within the intestines2. Slowed bowel movement is caused by a range of factors including anaesthetic, pain relieving medication , constipation and lack of movement.

2. Gas around the abdominal organs – gas is pumped into the abdomen during laparoscopic surgery which can cause abdominal and shoulder tip pain after surgery.

Benefits of Exercises for Gas Pain After Hysterectomy

Women are usually encouraged to start moving during their initial post operative hysterectomy recovery. One reason for early mobilization after hysterectomy is that it stimulates bowel movement.

Research has found that early mobilization improves the time to pass wind (gas) in patients after colorectal surgery3.

Typical mobilization techniques includes walking and gentle exercises in bed.

How Long Gas Pain Lasts After Hysterectomy

Immediate post operative gas pain caused by gas around the abdominal organs usually resolves within the first 24-48 hours of laparoscopic hysterectomy.

Gas pain caused by slowed bowel movements can last for as long as it takes to resume regular bowel function.

There are a number of ways to restore regular bowel movements and eliminating excess gas including appropriate diet after hysterectomy and exercise.

How Often to Repeat Exercises for Gas Pain

Gas pain exercises can be performed at regular intervals though out the day especially when you’ve been resting in bed for some time.

The standing exercises can usually be performed when you’ve moved out of bed and you feel comfortable standing unassisted.

You may choose to do a few of these exercises every couple of hours.

If you’re experiencing gas pain these exercises can be combined with other strategies for relieving gas such as warm pack and anti gas medication as required.

Precautions & Tips for Exercises After Hysterectomy

  • Hold a cushion or small pillow against your abdomen to help you move more comfortably
  • Move slowly and gently during these exercises
  • Keep your breathing regular during exercises and avoid holding your breath
  • Keep all exercises within the range of your personal comfort
  • Stop any exercise that causes any physical discomfort
  • Repeat that number of exercises that feels comfortable for your body
  • When doing the standing exercises keep a chair close by should you need to sit down quickly

These exercises to relieve gas pain after hysterectomy are provided as general information and should not take the place of exercises prescribed by your treating health practitioner.

Further Videos & Information

» 10 Solutions for Shifting Gas After Hysterectomy

» Hysterectomy Recovery Diet for Solving Bowel Problems After Hysterectomy

» 5 Physiotherapy Exercises for Relieving Lower Back Pain After Hysterectomy

» How to Reduce Your Hysterectomy Recovery Time


1. Akltman D, Zetterström J et al (2004) Effect of hysterectomy on bowel function. Dis Colon Rectum. Apr;47(4), pps 502-8; discussion 508-9.

2. Lacy B, Gabbard S & Crowell M (2011) Pathophysiology, Evaluation, and Treatment of Bloating. Hope, Hype, or Hot Air? Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). Nov; 7(11), pps 729–739.

3. Ahn K, Hur H, Kim DH, et al. (2013) The effects of inpatient exercise therapy on the length of hospital stay in stages I-III colon cancer patients: randomized controlled trial. Int J Colorectal Dis. 28, pps 643–651.

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