It is very common to experience weakness, tenderness, and stiffness following surgery. This is due not only to the strain the operation puts on the body, but to the lack of exercise and mobility one undergoes following the procedure. After much stagnancy, the body needs to undergo a period of rebuilding and healing. That is where orthopedic physical therapy comes in. October is National Physical Therapy month, so we thought we would share some of the benefits of orthopedic physical therapy after surgery.
1. Increased Mobility
After an operation, mobility is often very limited. And without proper care management and treatment, the problem can persist and even worsen. With good orthopedic physical therapy however, you can regain and even improve your mobility through a regimen of stretching and exercise. In most cases, this also involves devices like canes, crutches, braces, and other special aids that will support you as you gradually rebuild your range of motion. This type of training is the only way to ensure you both the ability to move freely and help prevent any problems that might require further surgeries later on.
2. Regained Strength
Outside of mobility, rebuilding strength is one of the most important aspects of recovering after surgery. Often, you will lose significant muscular strength post-procedure due to stagnancy and pain. And in many cases, especially with the elderly, this strength is never regained without proper rehabilitation. Yet, orthopedic physical therapy, through specific exercises, can build muscle strength back to its normal functioning level–if not, higher than it was pre-surgery. As the muscle rebuilds and regains regular usage, other negative symptoms will improve as well.
3. Controlled Pain
Good orthopedic physical therapy can help eliminate pain, lessening the need for pain medication that may have other negative side-effects. Therapists may massage the sensitive areas where the tissue might be stiff or sensitive post-operation. This can reduce stiffness leading to less pain. Temperature therapy might also be used, as ice packs will reduce inflammation and heated pads will loosen tightness and pressure. Other treatments like TENS–a type of electric nerve stimulation therapy–and exercises geared towards pain management have proven highly effective in eliminating pain and getting patients back to a normal level of health.
4. Improved Blood Circulation
Without proper blood circulation, your body can have a hard time healing and getting back to normal. Unfortunately, without therapy, you may restrict good blood flow by remaining stagnant, sitting or lying down for large parts of the day. This can prohibit healing at the surgery’s site and lead to more pain, infection, and lack of mobility. Yet, with orthopedic physical therapy, blood flow is maximized and the recovering parts of the body begin to receive the nutrients they need to recover and improve. This is accomplished through strategic positioning of the body, as well as through exercises that get your blood flowing in a controlled and manageable way.
5. Regaining Balance and Control
For some, regaining the ability to balance freely after an intensive operation, especially one on the hip or lower body, can prove challenging. And the risks of moving around without the assistance of therapists can leave you stationary or risking re-injury through a fall. Luckily, therapy can provide a safe and gradual plan to get you confidently back on your feet. And If the surgery took place in the arm, wrist, or hand, therapists can help you sharpen your fine motor skills again. Overall, orthopedic physical therapy will give you all the tools you need to regain your balance and control and to get back to your normal routine.
Contact South Shore Orthopedics
The team at South Shore Orthopedics is home to a team of expert physicians who specialize in a wide range of orthopedic surgical specialties. All of our providers and staff members are committed to helping our patients live their most active lives. To schedule an appointment to talk about orthopedic physical therapy, call our office at (781) 337-5555 or complete this appointment request form.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, SSO’s priority is keeping our patients and staff healthy and safe. Our office continues to operate on a daily basis Monday – Friday from 8 am – 4 pm and we have implemented CDC recommended procedures regarding temperature checks, social distancing, and face coverings.