For many, recovering from surgery is a daunting and lengthy process. Depending on what type of surgery you’ve had, your recovery journey may differ. Any type of orthopedic surgery, whether it’s for the shoulders, hip, spine, hands, or something else, typically will require post-surgery physical therapy.
Physical therapy varies, but the goal is to help patients rehabilitate and get back to enjoying their lives. Remember, physical therapy can benefit patients of any age, not just seniors. A common misconception is that physical therapy is only for older adults.
What types of Surgeries Benefit from Physical Therapy?
Many types of surgeries will require post-surgery physical therapy.
Some common procedures include:
- Joint Replacement surgeries, such as the knee, hip, or shoulder replacementsArthritis
- ACL and Meniscus surgeries
- Neck/Cervical surgeries
- Any type of back or spinal surgery
- Arm, Elbow, or Shoulder surgeries
Benefits of Post-Surgery Physical Therapy
Some benefits of post-surgery physical therapy include:
- Help reduce swelling
- Regain lost strength from surgery
- Encourage return to daily activities
- Reduce pain associated with healing
- Enhanced range of motion
- Enhanced core strength, which assists other body areas
- Limit areas of scar tissue formation
- Speed up the entire recovery process
If you’re eager to recover from your surgery, complying with consistent post-surgery physical therapy sessions can help encourage a speedy recovery. Your physical therapist will help you get back on your feet in no time! Research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that lack of movement after surgery can contribute to increased risk for re-injury and post-operative complications.
What types of Techniques are Used in Physical Therapy?
As previously mentioned, your specific physical therapy plan will depend on your abilities and assessment. Some examples of exercises used in post-surgery physical therapy include:
- Stretching exercises, either seated or standing
- Strengthening exercises, such as leg raises, hamstring or quadriceps exercises
- Range of motion exercises
- Low-impact cardiovascular exercises
As you gain more strength throughout the process, the physical therapy exercises and treatment will change. Post-surgery physical therapy is often used in combination with other plans to help encourage a healthy post-surgery recovery.