Why Is Physical Therapy Important After Surgery?

We may not always know it, but it’s a huge deal with any form of major surgery. It may leave patients helpless, immobilized, in pain and depressed at times. The aim of everyone is to easily and fully recover, so that they can return to the meaningful activities they enjoy. Doctors and patients are gradually finding that after surgery, physical therapy is one of the most critical aspects of a stable and successful outcome.

What Are The Benefits Of Physical Therapy After Surgery?

Scientific findings are gradually backed up by the benefits of physical therapy following surgery. The key to a successful recovery is to get patients going. Physical therapy helps patients regain mobility and recover more quickly, and ensures proper healing of any replacements or repairs made during surgery. Physical therapy is also an effective choice for pain control and helps eliminate or reduce opioid medications for many patients.

Getting Moving After Surgery Is Key

A research explicitly looking at seniors by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that lack of movement after surgery causes loss of control, muscle fatigue, and increases postoperative complications. When patients remain in bed after surgery, due to a lack of physical activity, they lose muscle strength and heart and lung capacity. One of the best solutions to this dilemma is a physical therapy program that is carefully designed and monitored.

Physical therapy helps patients regain strength and return to everyday life faster by moving them with the aid of qualified practitioners to walk in a healthy environment. This can help them remain independent in the case of seniors and even live longer.

Physical therapy also allows people, without turning to opioids, to safely treat pain. And physical activity may have a positive influence on the mental and psychological condition of patients. After all, exercise produces endorphins that help produce a sense of well-being while improving your overall mood.

Who Are Candidates For Post-Surgery Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is a post-surgery boost following many procedures, including:

  • Joint replacement surgery: For knee, hip and shoulder replacement operations, under the care of a professional therapist, the NIH recommends early and intensive physical therapy adapted to the needs of the patient. This makes it faster for patients to recover mobility and get back to their routine.
  • ACL and Meniscus repair: Physical rehabilitation is a must, along with tears to the meniscal cartilage, following repair to the ACL knee ligament (often an issue for athletes). By building quadriceps and hamstring power, studies show that patients can recover faster and prevent re-injury.
  • Back surgery: This is one case where controlled physical rehabilitation is necessary because of the particularly fragile nature of spinal fusion or disk surgery. Your therapist will help you to get the blood flowing through gentle stretches and exercises and to build up to everyday activities gradually.
  • Heart attack/bypass surgery: By giving patients a healthy chance to walk, physical therapy will avoid cardiopulmonary problems. The opportunity to get low-impact, incremental exercise monitoring improves health and can decrease the duration of hospital stay of the patient.

What Should I Expect From Physical Therapy After Surgery?

Some physicians also suggest beginning physical therapy soon after surgery. You will begin with basic exercises that include flexing and stretching, and as you heal, move on to more vigorous exercise. Part of the role of your therapist is to drive you safely to make progress even though you think you can’t! Some of the most widespread forms of approaches for physical therapy include:

  • Movement exercises vary from sitting to standing and circling joints, including knee extensions,
  • Strengthening movements that involve leg lifts, contractions of hamstring and quadriceps, squats using a chair
  • In both a sitting and standing position, stretching exercises
  • Running and other aerobic workouts that are low-impact, including using an exercise bike. Often it is a huge deal to take only a few steps after major surgery, and the feeling of success patients experience when they succeed in moving treatment forward goes a long way.

Are You Looking for Post Operative Rehabilitation? 

Pace Physical Therapy in San Jose, California specializes in Post Operative Rehabilitation and recovery therapies.  We pride ourselves on offering the best possible physical therapy available and going above and beyond for our patients. Our highly experienced physical therapist will work with you to improve your function and relieve your pain. At Pace Physical Therapy, individualized post-surgical recovery not only minimizes your pain and speeds up the healing time, but it can also decrease the chances of postoperative complications, including infections, bleeding, blood clots, muscle fatigue, scar tissue, reduced function, and other factors that can affect your long-term health negatively. The ability to help you minimize or fully stop prescribed painkillers, including opioids, is another important justification for choosing post-surgical physical therapy. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!