Surgical intervention is sometimes the best treatment option for those who struggle with chronic concerns or severe conditions and injuries. However, surgery is not enough to get you into optimal health.
The road to recovery can be just as intense as the surgery itself. Regardless of what kind of surgery you’ve had, big or small, it can take a toll on your body. This can leave patients weakened, immobilized, and still in pain.
We understand that patients wish to recover quickly so they can return to their day-to-day life, which is why we want to remind our patients that physical therapy is one of the most important parts of having a healthy and successful surgery.
Why is physical therapy important?
Though recovery occurs after the physical portion of the surgery, it is one of the most crucial times of any surgery. It is during this time that patients can make or break the success of the procedure.
Physical therapy helps your muscles, joints, soft tissue, and bones function again after surgery through directed motions.
Your physical therapist will help you to regain strength and return to daily activities sooner by helping you to recover faster in a safe and controlled environment. At first, you will begin with simple exercises that involve stretching and flexing before moving onto more intense exercises as you recover. Their job is to safely push you so that you make a healthy and complete recovery.
It is not only about helping you to become physically active after surgery, but to help you remain active long after you’ve fully recovered.
How does it help?
Physical therapy aids the healing process. These seemingly simple stretching and strengthening exercises help patients to regain balance, muscle control, strength, and range of motion.
Not only do physical therapists help you recover, but they also regularly monitor your recovery. They can spot problems early on and address them before a problem becomes severe enough to bother you.
Your physical therapist will work with you and your doctor to customize your treatment plan and adjust it as necessary. It is carefully planned and supervised. Common types of physical therapy include:
- Range of motion exercises
- Balance exercises
- Strength training
- Stretching and flexibility exercises
- Low impact cardiovascular exercises
Regular physical therapy helps to alleviate any post-surgical pain by removing pressure and strain on the surgical area. This can also lessen a patient’s reliance on prescription pain medication through recovery.
What happens if you neglect physical therapy?
Patients who remain inactive or limit their movement during recovery can actually do more damage than good. Patients who do not follow their physical therapy recommendations often experience muscle weakness, loss of function and mobility, and an increase in the risk of postoperative complications.
By not following your recommended plan or by failing to do your exercises at home, you limit, delay, and possibly even lower the success of your surgery.
Physical therapy is a vital part of your post-operative care. Not only can it help quicken the healing process, but it works to improve your balance, flexibility, strength, and range of motion. Some patients report even becoming stronger than they were before surgery.
For more information on the importance of physical therapy after surgery, contact Paul M. Brisson, MD Orthopedic Spinal Surgeon today.