Surgery takes a toll on one’s body. The first step in recovering from surgery is always rest and recuperation. The body needs this time to deal with the shock that comes with surgery. This period of rest can also be important in avoiding infections and other post-surgery complications. But this period of rest can also take a toll on the body in a different way. During this time of rest the body can lose range of motion and strength, as well as build up scar tissue. In order to overcome these problems physical therapy is often prescribed to help get patients back to the level of activity they were used to before surgery. While physical therapy is often essential to a full recovery, many people avoid physical therapy because they don’t understand the benefits or know what to expect.
What is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapists are experts in the biomechanics of the body. The goal of physical therapy is to get patients back to their normal lives and levels of activity. Through professional assessments therapists can help patients gain both range of motion and strength, which can allow patients to avoid further complications post-surgery and avoid future injuries.
Stages of Physical Therapy
Physical therapy varies greatly, but it often involves rebuilding range of motion followed by strengthening exercises. The range of motion phase typically begins with patients doing simple motions in order to acclimate the body to activity again and then progresses to stretching. Once the therapist is comfortable with the range of motion, the next step is to strengthen the parts of the body that were weakened during surgery or during the period of rest. Therapists also have numerous tools to help measure progress and to help patients understand their recovery.
Additional Benefits of Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is also beneficial as it allows a trained medical professional to keep close watch over the recovery process. Often times, physical therapists can spot potential issues with the surgically repaired area before it starts to cause larger problems. Physical therapy can also speed up the healing process by strengthening surrounding muscles and helping patients adopt compensatory strategies in the short term. The healing process can be helped with additional pain management. One of the advantages of managing pain with physical therapy is that it doesn’t require medication, which can be especially important for patients that are already taking multiple medications. In physical therapy, pain management can involve ice, heat, electrical stimulation, ultrasound and massage.
Prepare Before Surgery
If you or a loved one is preparing for surgery, it is best to get physical therapy set-up beforehand. Your physical therapist will be the medical professional who you work with the most during your recovery, so you want to take as much care choosing a therapist as you do choosing a surgeon.
West Ridge Can Help
If you’re not sure where to start, we can help. At West Ridge Care Center we provide physical therapy services for Elders, as well as long-term care, memory care, and skilled care. At West Ridge, our comprehensive rehabilitation team provides individualized and goal-oriented rehabilitative treatment programs specifically for the older adult. Our focus is to provide a level of skilled care that will help people reach quality outcomes and return home or to a lesser level of care faster. Once physical limitations have been identified, skilled treatment procedures prescribed by the physician are implemented, and an individualized treatment program is developed. We treat the whole person—physically, emotionally and socially, with the Eden Alternative philosophy guiding treatment.
In rehabilitation, the goal is to return people to their optimum level of function and open the door to a better quality of life. In order to do this, our therapists use multiple assessments to help patients understand their progress and to help our staff make the best decisions for our patients. The charts below help how we measure progress.