How Does Physical Therapy Help with Post-Surgical Rehabilitation?

Sep 13, 2022

Following a surgery, you’re bound to be anxious to get back to the activities and lifestyle you love. But it’s important to remember that while you may be mentally ready to get back to action, your body may need more time to heal and successfully recover. In this blog, we’re taking a closer look at the post-surgical recovery and  how physical therapy can be an effective treatment to get you back full health after an operation. 

At Denver Total Physical Therapy, we know that every journey to recovery is unique. This is why our experienced medical staff develops personalized treatment plans to address your specific healthcare needs. We offer our patients one-on-one care with Denver’s top physical therapists. Our evidence-based therapy techniques can enhance your wellness, boost your physical performance, and help you recover from a surgical procedure, car accident, or other type of injury. With open communication, proven therapy techniques, and a full staff dedicated to your full recovery, Denver Total Physical Therapy can get you back to the life you love. 

What is Post-Surgical Rehabilitation?

Post-surgical rehabilitation, also simply known as “post rehab,” is all about finding that perfect balance between rest and exertion so that you can safely and effectively recover from your surgery. While intended to heal, surgery can often inflict trauma on our bodies and lead to unexpected side effects. 

To speed up your body’s natural healing ability and to improve your chances of achieving a long-lasting recovery, doctors will often recommend a post-surgical rehabilitation program. These rehab programs may include many different types of therapy, including occupational therapy, speech therapy, or physical therapy. For some patients, different therapies may be used in tandem to improve your recovery. 

How Can Physical Therapy Help?

When recovering from a major surgery, physical therapy can play a key role in helping your body heal and recover. Physical therapy is a safe and holistic approach to care and it works with your body to recover from an injury or surgical procedure. Physical therapy can help with post-surgical rehabilitation by breaking up scar tissue, improving blood flow, restoring mobility throughout your body, and retraining your muscles to activate correctly. Additionally, since every physical therapy program is unique to the patient, your physical therapist can design a set of exercises and stretches that work specifically for your healthcare needs. 

What Does a Physical Therapy Program for Post-Surgical Rehabilitation Include?

One of the strengths of utilizing physical therapy for your post-surgical rehabilitation program lies in its versatility and flexibility. Your physical therapist will design a unique rehabilitation plan suited to your injury, overall fitness level, and recovery needs. They may also adapt and change your physical therapy routine as needed to improve your recovery.

In general, a physical therapy program designed for post-surgical rehabilitation may include some of the following features:

·  Flexibility exercises to improve your range of motion.

·  Exercises to strengthen key muscle groups.

·  Posture, balance, and coordination training.

·  Therapies such as ice therapy, heat therapy, or electrical stimulation.

·  Gait analysis and training.

·  Self-care training.

·  Manual therapy techniques.

·  Home exercise instruction.

·  Helpful lifestyle tips. 

What are the Benefits of Physical Therapy for Post-Surgical Rehabilitation?

It’s no coincidence that so many doctors will recommend physical therapy as a key part of post-surgical rehabilitation. Physical therapy is safe, holistic, and perhaps most importantly, effective for a range of different patients. Guided by a licensed physical therapist, the exercises and stretches that make up a physical therapy program can speed up and improve your recovery from a major surgery.

Just take a look at some of the top benefits of physical therapy for postoperative recovery:

1. Faster recovery time: following surgery, most of us are eager to get back to the activities we love. With a physical therapy program, you can get back to that lifestyle sooner than ever. As a key part of your recovery program, physical therapy can boost overall recovery time. This will save you time, cut down on the number of medical visits you’ll need to make, and reduce the risk of agitating your injury even further.

2. Improved mobility: few things are as frustrating after a surgical procedure as feeling like you can’t move and having reduced mobility. But luckily, physical therapy can help. After surgery, physical therapy can work to restore movement and mobility. Whether you’re experiencing mobility issues in your knees, hips, shoulders, or any other joint area, physical therapy can help you return to a pain-free and fully functional lifestyle without mobility restrictions.

3. Relief from pain: while doctors commonly prescribe pain medication following a surgery, you shouldn’t solely rely on this option as a way to relieve pain. Additionally, some pain medications may have addictive properties or side effects that most patients wish to avoid. Physical therapy offers a safe and natural way to quickly relieve pain.

4. Improved circulation: following a surgery, scar tissue can lead to various health problems, including inflammation. Since physical therapy can break down scar tissue, it can reduce your risk of inflammation, prevent blood clots, and improve the blood flow throughout your body. This is critical to ensure that your body receives the nutrients it needs to successfully heal.

5. Assist with good posture and balance: depending on the type of surgery you undergo, your balance, coordination, or posture may be adversely affected. Physical therapy can help you regain your balance and coordination by strengthening key muscle groups and improving your flexibility. Gait analysis and training are often key parts of a physical therapy program.

6. Self-care training: one of the distinct advantages of physical therapy is that patients can perform these exercises and stretches at home. After receiving guidance and instruction from your physical therapist, you can continue to utilize these exercises long after your therapy is complete.

7. Reduced risk of PCCs: following a major surgery, many patients are at risk of postoperative pulmonary complications (PCCs). Engaging in a physical therapy treatment plan can reduce your risk of these complications and ensure a longer-lasting recovery. 

Conclusion – How Does Physical Therapy Help with Post-Surgical Rehabilitation?

No one ever looks forward to a surgical procedure, but in many cases, it may be necessary for your overall recovery and wellness. Following surgery, many doctors recommend that their patients enroll in a physical therapy program. Physical therapy can prove to be a safe, effective, and holistic way to help you recover faster from a surgical procedure and achieve a lasting, complete recovery so you can get back to the life you love.  

Total Physical Therapy is your local choice for safe and effective physical therapy. With a commitment to personalized treatment plans and unmatched access with Denver’s top physical therapists, our entire healthcare office is dedicated to your recovery. If you’re recovering from a surgical procedure, recovering from a car accident or sports-related injury, or simply need relief from pain or limited mobility, our team can help.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our team and we can even schedule your initial consultation. Feel free to also review our complete list of physical therapy services to see if our Denver physical therapy office could be the right choice for your healthcare goals. Together, let’s get you back to total health. 

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You don’t have to spend another day in pain. Total Physical Therapy is here to help. Get started with your recovery and give us a call at (303) 758-5060 to schedule your preliminary physical therapy appointment. Our doctors will evaluate your therapy needs and determine a specialized treatment plan designed for you. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is available daily throughout the week to offer support and detailed information about how we can treat any of your musculoskeletal injuries.

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