3 Reasons To See A Physical Therapist For Rehab After Surgery

Sep20th 2022

Do you have an operation coming up? Book your PT appointment ahead of time!

We’re confident that working with a physical therapist can help you heal and return to your active lifestyle as quickly and safely as possible, whether you’re having a joint replacement, back surgery, or another procedure.

Our physical therapy team sees thousands of people recovering from surgery each year.

Are you wondering why physical therapy is so important during the post-surgery period?

We have three compelling reasons to pique your interest!

Don’t forget to contact our clinic if you’ve got an upcoming operation. We’d love to get you scheduled so you can gain some peace of mind about your recovery journey!

Why should I see a PT after surgery?

1. Control and minimize your pain.

A physical therapist can teach you exercises, provide manual interventions like massage, and implement non-invasive modalities that can work together alleviate your pain and even reduce your reliance on pain-relieving medications, including opioids.

Many of the physical therapy interventions we offer work directly on the central nervous system to help modulate pain signals to the brain, while others help reduce inflammation, swelling, and stiffness.

Of course, pain is normal and expected after certain procedures, such as hip and knee replacements, and taking your pain medication as directed can help you get more out of your physical therapy. As a result, it’s critical to discuss your pain medication options with your doctor and not to stop or start taking anything without his or her approval.

That said, research shows that physical therapy is a safe alternative or beneficial component to effective pain management in the post-surgical window. So be sure to talk to your doctor about setting up a referral to see a physical therapist, too!

2. PT reduces the risk of complications.

Any surgery carries the risk of complications such as postoperative bleeding, infections, range of motion restrictions, and hardware malfunction. Working with a physical therapist can help you reduce your risk of complications, which can reduce stress, save money, and protect your short- and long-term health.

Physical therapists, for example, are trained to teach you how to move and function safely in everyday situations. If your surgeon instructs you to follow certain precautions or activity restrictions for a period of time after your surgery, your physical therapist can teach you how to adhere to these restrictions and progress or modify them as needed.

Physical therapists can also prescribe and fit adaptive equipment like walkers and braces to help you mobilize more safely and protect your healing tissues.

Your physical therapist can also serve as a liaison between you and your surgeon, keeping him or her informed about your progress and needs. This way, if any concerns arise, all members of your medical team who need to know can communicate more quickly.

3. Accelerate your recovery.

Our bodies are extremely strong and capable of self-healing. A physical therapist’s non-invasive and drug-free services and techniques can help people improve their self-healing abilities and work with their bodies rather than just masking symptoms.

Your physical therapy team can help you stay on track during your recovery by minimizing pain and reducing the risk of complications, so you can regain and maximize your strength, balance, range of motion, endurance, and overall function as quickly as possible.

The importance of pre-surgical rehab AND post-surgical rehab

Any surgical procedure can be made as easy on your body as possible with pre-surgical and post-surgical rehabilitation. While pre-surgical rehabilitation is not always required as part of a treatment plan, it is always recommended for the best results. Treatments both before and after surgery always yield the best results.

For example, according to an article on shoulder replacement surgery published by the Hofmann Arthritis Institute,

“Formal physical therapy is not required before surgery, but it is advised to get in the best physical shape possible before surgery to lessen the change for complication and shorten your recovery time.”

The same article also states that “The day after surgery, you will begin working with physical therapy to become comfortable using your new shoulder.” This demonstrates how beneficial it is to complete both pre-surgical rehab, and post-surgical rehab, as both are meant to make your recovery process as easy and comfortable as possible.

When you meet with your physical therapist, they will be able to assess your condition after surgery and work with you (and your surgeon or primary care physician) to create a customized treatment plan that is geared specifically towards your recovery. You don’t have anything to fear when it comes to physical therapy — your therapist will be with you 100% of the way to make sure you’re healing and feeling better, as well as improving your mobility and helping you to regain your independence.

Call our clinic today for more information

It’s never too early to start seeing a physical therapist! Contact our physical therapy clinic today to schedule an appointment for your post-surgical rehabilitation.


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