Modern medicine can be nothing short of miraculous. Today surgeons are replacing knees, hips, and wrists, repairing discs and spinal cord injuries – not to mention life-saving organ transplants. However, as amazing as these surgeries can be, the recovery period can be long and sometimes difficult. In many cases, physical therapy (PT) is the key to a successful recovery. In fact, PT and exercise after surgery can hep you reduce or avoid medications and speed up the recovery process.
Here are four ways that PT can help you recover successfully:
1. Reduce Inflammation
Surgery is hard on the body. It often causes inflammation or swelling in the area surrounding the incision. This swelling is the body’s response to injury and part of the healing process, but too much inflammation can impede this process and cause discomfort. Through exercise, massage, and other techniques, PT can help improve circulation and drain excess fluids and reduce swelling.
2. Ease Pain
Most physicians recommend light exercise shortly after surgery to speed up recovery, prevent complications, and ease pain. Gone are the days of prolonged bed rest! Although patients may experience some discomfort when exercising after surgery, this type of activity stimulates the body’s natural painkillers, which helps you manage your pain. PT may also include stretching, ice packs and massage, which can alleviate pain.
3. Restore balance
Exercise and stretching helps to strengthen muscles and bones, improves coordination and therefore, balance. Since falls are very common after hip and knee surgeries, and lead to more serious injuries, it’s important to restore balance by building strength and coordination.
4. Prevent complications
Post-operative complications are always a risk, especially in elderly people. For instance, some of the risks associated with hip replacement surgery include blood clots, infection, dislocation, stiffness, and nerve damage, Supervised exercises which gradually build up your strength and mobility can reduce those risks.
While PT can be very beneficial after surgery, it’s important to consult with your surgeon and other members of your healthcare team before doing any physical activity. Exercises and stretches that are supervised by a qualified PT can be safe and effective.
What about exercising at home? In order for PT to be effective, patients must continue to do their prescribed exercises and stretches at home – long after your PT sessions have ended. But what if you can’t get down and up from the floor comfortably or safely?
Try the PhysioBoard! This lightweight, sturdy board transforms your bed into an effective exercise surface. It was designed by a physical therapist to help patients continue their exercises at home on a raised surface. It can be easily moved and stored when not in use. Many patients have found the PhysioBoard to be a perfect solution!
Learn more at physioboard.net