It is common to experience weakness, stiffness or tenderness as you recover from orthopaedic surgery. Causes include lack of exercise, as well as the strain the operation itself puts on the body. While rest is important during recovery, too much can cause lack of mobility, reduced range of motion, muscle atrophy and overall weakness. Physical therapy is key in building your muscle strength back up as you heal, and making sure your body is as strong as it can be. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of physical therapy after orthopaedic surgery.
A significant portion of the recovery process is participating in the therapy the doctor orders. Recovery and exercise plans will be tailored to meet each individual patient’s needs. With proper physical therapy, patients can perform exercises that will build muscle strength back to their functional best, helping them get back to their regular lives. It is important to remember each patient recovers at his or her own pace.
Some loss of mobility is common after orthopaedic surgery, but this can be extremely frustrating to the patient. While rest is important, it is crucial to not let lack of mobility worsen as you recover. With a good physical therapy regimen of stretching and exercise, you can help improve your mobility and quickly get back to using your muscles regularly. Canes, crutches, walkers or other assistive devices can also help reduce stress on your joints while recovering.
After orthopaedic surgery, many people spend a lot of time laying or sitting down. But lack of activity can lead to restricted blood flow, which can make it much harder for the body to heal properly. Poor blood circulation can increase your healing time, lead to more pain and a higher risk of infection. With regular physical therapy, you will increase blood flow providing the body with the circulation it needs to properly heal. Circulation exercises play an important role in reducing the chance of postoperative complications.
Recovering after a surgery can be painful, and many people worry that physical therapy may cause them more pain. However, physical therapy actually increases muscle strength and joint function which helps alleviate pain over time. This can make your recovery time shorter and decrease the need for pain medication.
Your core is the center of your body, and having a strong core is key to keeping you stable and preventing other injuries. A weakened core can lead to balance and stability issues, putting you at risk for injury and making recovery time longer. Physical therapists often focus on core exercises to increase stability and improve your overall health.
The decision to have surgery is such an important one. Studies show effective patient education prior to surgery and physical therapy participation after surgery contribute to more positive patient outcomes. At Southwoods, we focus on creating the best experience for our patients. If you are considering orthopaedic surgery, visit SouthwoodsHealthOrtho.com for more information on our services or to find a surgeon near you.