Physical therapy is necessary to aid in rehabilitation whether you are having a hip replaced, an open-heart surgery, or are being treated for breast cancer. Rehabilitation helps you discover the best ways to take care of yourself and go back to your normal activities while also speeding up tissue regeneration.
Physical therapists have a thorough understanding of surgical techniques and the targeted goals for post-surgical patients. The ability of physical therapists to customize treatments to enhance a patient’s overall well-being is what matters most for achieving long-term success. Furthermore, research has shown that physical therapy and fitness training should begin as soon as possible after surgery.
Here are five reasons why physical therapy is an important part of postoperative recovery:
1. Enhance mobility, balance, and strength
Surgery may decrease mobility in the area or body part that is affected. Protecting the traumatized area is the body’s natural reaction, which can result in muscle/tissue stiffness, edema, spasms, and restricted ability to move. Physical therapy can help patients restore mobility through movement, strengthening exercises, myofascial release, and other manual approaches. Additionally, strengthening workouts for the back, pelvis, and core muscles promote stability and balance, which may be extremely beneficial for healing following procedures like knee or hip replacement.
2. Decrease pain and inflammation
Swelling is a common consequence of the healing process after surgery and varies widely between individuals. When there is too much inflammation, it irritates the nerves and releases chemicals that activate the nerve endings, resulting in pain. Swelling reduction encourages healing and increases movement, both of which lessen overall pain. Exercises and movements performed during rehabilitation can aid in reducing swelling and avoiding the development of persistent postoperative symptoms.
3. Prevent scar tissue formation
Scar tissue forms, and soft tissue contracts as part of the natural healing process following an injury or surgery. Surgery can create scars anywhere on the body, and excessive scar tissue can impair motion and function for months after treatment. A physical therapist can utilize a variety of tissue mobilization techniques, including massage and ultrasound therapy, to decrease scar tissue and restore your normal range of motion.
4. Minimize the risk of secondary complications
Physical therapy aids in the reduction of these sometimes costly and disabling secondary complications, which can include infection, blood clots, and other post-surgery issues. Physical therapy patients who undergo specialized mobility exercises after surgery can lower their risk of infection, contractures, and blood clots.
5. Improve flexibility
Muscles that are weakened by lack of activity are more prone to become stiff and injured again. Movements like reaching upwards, ascending stairs, and standing up from a seated position can all be greatly hampered by tight muscles and stiff joints. One of the first exercises recommended following surgery is gentle stretching, which is intended to keep weak muscles flexible.
You should prepare to engage in therapeutic activities for at least six to eight weeks because soft tissue healing usually takes that long. Rehabilitation may be done inpatient, outpatient, or a combination of the two, based on the procedure you had. Additionally, it’s probable that your therapist may assign you “homework” exercises to do on your own while you heal.
The bottom line
You will definitely heal from your procedure, but it can take a while before you feel strong and mobile again. Everything relies on the sort of surgery you underwent, the complexity of your injury or condition, and the length of time you had the problem before the treatment.
Physical therapy patients have faster recovery rates because they can handle any concerns or problems that may arise more effectively. They can also monitor their development to make sure they’re in the best possible health.