If you’re preparing for surgery, don’t forget one of the most important steps- scheduling your post-surgical rehabilitation! Post surgical rehab is vital to helping you regain your strength, balance, flexibility, and function. This will ensure your success and help to expedite your recovery time after surgery. Request a consult at Performance Rehab in Nashua, NH and start feeling better today!
Why do I need Rehab After Surgery?
Whether you have recently had heart surgery, a joint replacement or reconstructive surgery on a part of your body, surgery is traumatic on the body. Skin is cut, muscles and organs are moved, joints are manipulated, tendons and ligaments are sewn, the list goes on and on. Once that surgery is complete, your body immediately begins the process of healing itself, however, you may not have the same ability to stand, walk, dress and care for yourself that you did before. The goal of any physical therapy rehab program is to:
- Reduce pain
- Strengthen your muscles
- Improve range of motion and movement
- Help you walk again
- Teach you how to do daily activities, such as get up from a chair, climb stairs and get in and out of a car
What to Expect From Post-Surgical Rehab with a Physical Therapist
Physical therapists are movement experts who can both diagnose problems and assist you in your recovery. When led by a physical therapist, post-surgical rehab uses a variety of exercises and treatments to help limit the amount of pain you are experiencing while increasing strength, balance, range of motion and quality of movement.
Your post-surgical rehab plan may include:
- Manual Therapy to improve mobility in your joints and soft tissues
- Targeted exercises to improve movement and increase overall physical endurance
- Ultrasound to break up scar tissue
- Aquatic therapy that offers resistance without stress on joints.
- Ice, heat and TENS to limit inflammation and reduce pain levels
Periodically during the rehabilitation process, your physical therapist will evaluate your progress and make adjustments to your treatment plan to maximize both your time and your potential for improvement.
Once you have completed your physical therapy rehabilitation program, you will be discharged with instructions on ways to continue to build strength and endurance. This may include exercises for continued strength and mobility, suggestions for diet and exercise programs that will improve endurance or information on group fitness classes that will help continue your therapeutic process.
Recovery Takes Time
Typically, regardless of the surgical procedure, you go from pre-op to the recovery room in just a few hours. Once you are cleared for activity, rehab after surgery can take months or even up to a year. Recovery is complex and dependent on several factors, some of which are beyond your control. You may strictly adhere to your physical therapy schedule and exercises but your body’s natural healing process may be slowed by diet, age, other medical conditions, or your pre-surgical wellness. Regardless of how long it takes, it is important to remember that post-surgical rehab is a complex, progressive process. Patience and consistency are the keys while you allow your body do the work of healing.