Surgery Coming Up? Physical Therapy Can Help Your Recovery Process! Facing surgery can be a little scary. Not only are you unsure how the operation itself will go, you may not be clear about what to expect once the anesthesia has worn off and you start your recovery process. Fortunately, our physical therapist can walk you through the precise recovery process for your surgery. Call today to schedule a consultation. In the meantime, these reasons to attend post-surgical rehab will shed some light on how physical therapy leads to a better recovery. 1. Reducing the amount of scar tissue from surgery for recovery process Surgery and scar tissue go hand in hand. Anytime a surgeon has to cut layers of skin, fatty tissue, connective tissue, and muscles, they must repair them as well. In the process of the body finishing what the surgeon started, scar tissue forms. Scar tissue forms from inflammation and irritation around joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, making it difficult for the area to move. Once scar tissue has formed and solidified, it is difficult and painful to break. The sooner a physical therapist can help create movement in the area that has been affected by surgery, the less scar tissue will develop, the less pain a person will have during recovery. Even though physical therapy is often uncomfortable right after surgery, it is far less painful than waiting to begin rehabilitation. 2. Moving safely and comfortably, as soon as possible for a better recovery process A physical therapist will often begin the therapy process within 24 hours of surgery. Multiple studies have found that patients who are up and moving right after surgery have faster recovery times than those who are allowed to rest and recover before rehabilitation. Patients who have a knee or hip replacement are required to stand and walk within 24 hours. Patients who have surgery on other areas of the body are often referred to a physical therapist even before surgery, so they can begin therapy as soon as they are discharged from the hospital. The sooner you begin rehabilitation after surgery, the faster your recovery, the better your outcome. 3. A physical therapist is a movement expert We often forget that a physical therapist is a medical specialist. Not only have they completed extensive training and education, they are also skilled diagnosticians. In your first meeting, your physical therapist will assess your current movement capabilities and discuss your surgical procedure. They will then schedule your post-surgical rehab appointments in a way that is appropriate for your goals and procedure. Your first thought may be, “It’s too soon!” or “There’s no way I’ll be ready.” Trust their skill, experience and expertise. Committing to physical therapy the way it is prescribed, with the recommended timing and order, will have you back to optimal health much faster than fighting the process. Common reasons for surgery People may require surgery for a variety of reasons. It may be required to remove diseased tissues, fix a broken bone, implant an electronic device, remove an obstruction or to explore a condition for the purpose of diagnosis. Common surgeries include appendectomy, Cesarean section, hip replacement, coronary artery bypass, and low back surgery. Find relief after surgery with passive and active therapies Once our physical therapist has isolated the underlying cause of your chronic joint pain, we can prescribe techniques to help you start feeling – and moving – more like your old self. Physical therapy for joint pain may start with passive exercises, in which we move the afflicted joint for you to increase its pain-free range of motion. Exercises that reduce the amount of weight on the joints can also be extremely helpful. For instance, we may recommend swimming or water walking as a means of exercising the hips and knees without also forcing them to bear your full weight. Other types of exercises can also help you overcome your joint pain while improving joint function. Strengthening exercises help by reinforcing the muscles and connective tissues that serve the joint. Corrective exercises and neuromuscular re-education can help you maintain a straighter, more symmetrical posture. Last but not least, physical therapy offers a variety of helpful modalities beyond exercise. We may treat your joint pain with heat, ice, and manual therapies such as massage, just to name a few. Looking for help? Contact us! If you are facing surgery, don’t wait to schedule your appointment with a physical therapist. Not only will they be able to outline your rehabilitation schedule and recovery process, they may also have valuable insight into things you can do now to prepare for your surgery date. Call our office today!