Why is Physical Therapy Important After Surgery?

Physical Therapy After Surgery

Surgery is a daunting prospect regardless of the injury it aims to address, and there’s no greater relief than waking up to a successful outcome. But if you think the recovery process is all about soup served in bed while binge-watching your favorite shows, think again. To regain strength and mobility after surgery, you will most likely need physical therapy, which involves specific exercises and specialized equipment tailored to your injury recovery and treatment goals.

Unfortunately, many patients do not comply with physical therapy recommendations, sometimes because they want to avoid the hassle or pain that is assumed to accompany physical therapy, but often because they don’t fully understand why it’s so vital for recovery. If you have an upcoming surgery and your doctor has recommended physical therapy afterward, here is why you should heed her advice:

Specialized exercises help you regain mobility

Whether you’re an active athlete or you live a quiet life in a nursing facility, the ability to return to daily activities after surgery is key for maintaining your quality of life. Directly after surgery, you will likely experience swelling and limited range of motion, along with severe pain and diminished mobility. Failure to use your joints after surgery can cause them to heal improperly. Physical therapy exercises will restore movement and strengthen the part of your body that is healing. It will also decrease the likelihood of re-injury.

Guided stretching maintains flexibility

After surgery, scar tissue forms around bones and muscle while soft tissue contracts. If left untreated, this scar tissue will limit your range of motion and flexibility. Regular stretching exercises during physical therapy will ensure that scar formation doesn’t hamper your recovery. Physical therapy is also vital to regaining or maintaining your range of motion. Stiff joints and tight muscles can prevent you from performing even the simplest of tasks, such as climbing stairs or reaching overhead, which is why stretching under the guidance of a medical professional is essential to your recovery.

Regular movement promotes healing

One reason it’s important to start physical therapy as soon as your surgeon or orthopedic specialist recommends it is that it can promote healing. Improved blood circulation through movement exercises will hasten the healing process by delivering key fuels and removing fluid build-up around the injury.

Physical therapy actively engages you in your rehabilitation

Research has shown that patients who are actively engaged in their healthcare have better experiences than those who are not. Working with your physical therapist will allow you to be actively engaged in your recovery, which can reduce the stress and feelings of helplessness that often result after a surgical procedure. Physical therapy can also restore self-confidence, allowing you to accomplish goals you may not think possible otherwise.

Looking for a skilled nursing facility that offers physical therapy in San Diego? 

At Bella Vista Health Center, our Physical Therapy Department offers an individual patient-centered approach that truly focuses on each person’s needs. Our evidence-based, outcome-driven services and therapy programs are designed to relieve pain, restore function, and enhance health through high-quality, skilled nursing care in an environment of healing and wellbeing.

If you or someone you know is looking for a skilled nursing facility that also offers physical therapy services, we invite you to call or visit our five-star location in Lemon Grove today.