Do you have a scheduled surgery on the books? If so, it’s a wise idea to work with a physical therapist both before and after surgery to optimize your outcome and recovery!
Working with a physical therapist prior to your operation — sometimes referred to as “prehab” — can help you to prepare emotionally and physically for the surgery.
After your operation is finished, physical therapy can help to ensure a speedy and full recovery. If you have an upcoming surgery planned, contact us to learn more about how physical therapy can help you with both preparation and recovery.
A physical therapist has many tools and techniques at their disposal, and they are trained specifically in the best methods to help you recover from an injury or surgery. Your work with a physical therapist can begin soon after your surgery — perhaps on the same day! Of course, this depends on the type of operation that you have undergone.
A physical therapy exercise plan will be tailored toward gradually rebuilding your strength, without the risk of tearing any sutures or reinjuring yourself.
Your therapist can teach you the proper ways for getting in and out of bed, using mobility assistance devices, getting dressed, and using the restroom. From there, physical therapy will involve helping you with recovery and getting back to a normal life.
You may also participate in water-based training sessions in a pool, to reduce strain on muscles recovering from surgery. Your therapist might also teach you some assisted exercises in which your caretaker/helper at home can aid you in moving your limbs to contract muscles — without straining or reinjuring anything.
You’ll be taking it easy for a while after surgery, and therapy will make sure you don’t injure yourself during recovery. Sit tight, because you probably won’t be heading into a gym for heavy weightlifting sessions after surgery, followed by a 10-mile run on a treadmill!
You might be thinking “Physical therapy before surgery? How in the world could that benefit me!” We’ll tell you!
Surgery is a frightening necessity for many people. They need to have the operation to improve their health in some fashion, but the idea of being placed under anesthetic and operated on is still something that can make a person very uncomfortable. Working with a physical therapist beforehand can help alleviate these fears. In addition, you will have a good plan in place for your recovery after the surgery.
Working with a physical therapist before surgery can help you get ready for modifications you will have to make during your recovery period. For example, your therapist can get you ready for moving around your home, your eventual return to work, and riding in a car.
They’ll also provide you with a post-operative exercise plan that won’t harm your recovery. Your therapist can also recommend assistive devices that you may need after surgery, such as a cane or walker.
Part of the prehab work with a physical therapist may involve recommendations for setting up a “recovery zone” in your home. For example, if your bedroom is on the second floor of your home, you might want to set up a bedroom or resting area on the first floor, to avoid having to use the stairs frequently after surgery.
Kitchen items that you might need to reach should be placed on lower shelves ahead of time, within easy reach. Physical therapy will be important for your recovery, but so will therapeutic rest. Have an area of your home prepared where you can comfortably sit, rest, and relax.
Going into surgery as strongly as possible reduces the risk of surgical complications. Plus, a pre-operative physical therapy session or two can also give you a chance to practice the post-operative exercises you’ll be expected to do during your rehabilitation, learn how to move with any new weight-bearing precautions or mobility restrictions you’ll have after surgery, and overall make you a better educated and more well-informed patient!
To learn more about how physical therapy at our clinic can help you prepare for surgery and aid in a healthy, safe recovery afterward, contact us to schedule an appointment.