Did you know that having rehabilitation before surgery is just as critical as having it after surgery? It’s true! One of the most important times that you could seek physical therapy is when you are facing surgical correction of a joint or muscle. Physical therapy has proven time and time again to benefit a person as they prepare their body for surgical correction! Physical therapy before an operation also can enhance the recovery process, making it possible to return to full strength as quickly as possible following your surgical procedure.
Meeting with a physical therapist for the first time shouldn’t wait until after your surgical date! Pre-operative physical therapy is demonstrated to be just as valuable as postoperative physical therapy. If you are facing a surgical procedure, it may be a good idea to consult with your surgeon about your options for physical therapy. They can work with your physical therapist to come up with a swift plan of action to ensure the best results during recovery.
What are the benefits of having physical therapy before surgery?
Pre-surgical rehabilitation with physical therapy is designed to help the body recover as much strength as possible in the area surrounding the surgical site, so as to enhance the body’s ability to recover following your surgical procedure.
Bone&Joint’s website states that “prehabilitation allows [a] physical therapist to explain how your joints, ligaments and muscles work together to create movement. Pre-habilitation also allows your therapist to measure your current range of motion and discuss your goals for recovery after surgery. After surgery and rehabilitation, some people achieve a greater range of the movement or compete at higher levels than they did before their injury or condition.”
During pre-operative physical therapy, your physical therapist at our clinic will work with you to improve strength and functionality in the areas immediately surrounding the targeted injury site. They will also go over your post-operative treatment care plan with you and explain when you can expect to begin those exercises and stretches.
Many patients begin physical therapy as soon as they are able to stand, some as soon as the next day. Rest assured that your physical therapist’s goal is never to cause you pain or make you uncomfortable, so if you’re concerned about any part of your treatment, let him or her know.
Pre-surgical rehab with physical therapy often incorporates:
- Hot and cold therapy
- Stretching and mobility training
- Muscle training
What are the benefits of having physical therapy after surgery?
Hearing that physical therapy may be necessary after surgery is usually not a surprise to many. The sooner you may begin physical therapy following surgical correction, the greater the impact physical therapy can have on your recovery!
It is typically recommended that you discuss your physical therapy options with your surgeon and physical therapist prior to surgery so that you can set up your first post-operative care session as soon as possible following your surgical date.
Physical therapy typically begins once the wound of the surgical site has healed and your body is ready to begin healing the actual torn tissue or damaged joint. If the corrected tissues, ligaments, tendons, and muscles, are left to recover without the use of physical therapy, they will become very stiff and scar tissue is likely to form. This will interfere with your range of motion and can also cause atrophy to occur, further limiting the amount of comfort and strength around the area that was operated on.
Post-surgical rehabilitation with physical therapy can help to alleviate pain, give you your strength back, and make your recovery “downtime” period much shorter. Your physical therapy program will be customized to your personal needs. At your first consultation with your physical therapist, you will discuss the severity of the injury if there was one as well as the details of your surgical procedure. From there, your physical therapist will assess your range of motion and level of strength, and work with your physician or surgeon to make sure they’re creating the best possible treatment care plan for you.
Most commonly, therapeutic techniques employed will include a combination of massage therapy, hot and cold therapy, range of motion/mobility training, and guided stretching and muscle training. Your physical therapist will also provide you with guidance for exercises that you should do at home, which will further help to improve your recovery process!
Are you ready to get on the path to recovery?
The recovery process is incredibly important both before and after undergoing any kind of surgical repair. As soon as you find out about your surgical plans, contact Direct Physical Therapy. One of our skilled therapists will work with you and any other medical professionals tied to your surgery, to make sure you’re receiving the most thorough form of care possible. We can’t wait to watch your recovery!