4 Benefits of Physical Therapy in Surgery Recovery
Whether major or minor, surgery can be a daunting prospect. Not only are there pre-operative requirements but it’s also important to understand the recovery process. Typically, your surgeon or orthopedic team will walk you through what to expect from the days following surgery and prescribe rehabilitation treatments. One of the most effective and commonly utilized forms of rehabilitation treatment is physical therapy (PT).
Physical therapists are specially trained to provide individualized stretching and strengthening exercises as well as innovative and evidence-based healing methods. While some people view physical therapy as strictly an alternative to surgery, research continues to show how useful personalized PT programs can be when used in conjunction with surgery.
Four surprising benefits of post-surgery PT include:
- Increases muscle function: Surgery can affect the strength and stability of the muscles surrounding the affected area—causing stiff or sore spots. PT provides a variety of techniques to restore muscle function and increase endurance, including stretching and strengthening routines. Each exercise is tailored to your unique condition and physical therapists continue to update your exercises by adding weight or increasing the complexity of movement to help you progress safely.
- Improves circulation: A major concern post-surgery is clotting. The compression and movement methods provided in physical therapy will increase blood circulation. This not only reduces the chance of clotting but also carries needed oxygen and nutrients into the recovering area, which aids in healing.
- Enhances mobility and balance: Even minimally invasive surgeries can be traumatic to the body and temporarily limit your range of motion. Treatments such as myofascial release and manual manipulation can help relieve swelling—improving your mobility. Additionally, stabilizing and strengthening large muscle groups, such as your core or lower extremities, can aid in balance to prevent accidental falls.
- Reduces pain: While many believe that movement post-surgery will be painful, PT can assist with lowering inflammation as well as relieving nerve compression—resulting in pain reduction. Additionally, your therapist might prescribe treatments such as ice, heating pads, and the Graston Technique, which can soften scar tissue, improve flexibility, and can reduce the need for anti-inflammatory medication.
What to Expect from Post-Surgery Physical Therapy
An increasing number of surgeons are recommending physical therapy immediately after surgery. This might include simple and gentle movements, such as stretching individual muscles. As your recovery progresses, your routine will become more complex, so you feel both safe and challenged, and more comfortable returning to daily activities.
Our physical therapy services at ProFysio Physical Therapy are custom designed for your unique needs and our experienced therapists will walk you through every aspect of your PT care, so you feel confident from start to finish. Call our team today at (732) 812-5200 or fill out our quick and easy online form.