Understanding Pre-Surgical Therapy—Pre-Hab
For most people the concept of physical therapy is understood and appreciated—you know that after surgery you will need to do exercises to regain strength and mobility. A physical therapist will guide you through your exercises to help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. But you may not be aware of the importance of physical therapy before surgery. Call our office to speak to a physical therapist about the benefits of pre-surgical therapy and learn how it can help with your recovery.
In recent years surgeons and physical therapists have begun to emphasize the importance of going through physical therapy before you go on the operating table. Studies have shown that beginning physical therapy around a month or so before you go through surgery can significantly speed up your recovery time. No one wants to go through surgery, but when you have no other choice at least you can take comfort knowing that pre-hab will help you recover more quickly than you would have with just post-surgical therapy.
What is the Purpose of Pre-Surgical Therapy?
Pre-surgical therapy has some specific goals that all physical therapists hope to achieve for their patients. These include:
- Help patients prepare both physically and mentally for surgery
- Limit the pain and inflammation that come after surgery
- Improve patterns of movement before the operation
- Improve range of motion
- Help patients gain more control of their musculature surrounding the injury
- Aid in developing physical fitness and general well-being
- Teach patients the exercises they will need to perform after the surgery
Surgery is always somewhat traumatic to the body, which is why it is only performed when there is no other option to achieve the desired result. There will be a loss of strength and function no matter how well you prepare beforehand. However, the loss can be significantly lessened by going through pre-hab.
The stronger you get before surgery, the stronger you can expect to be after you get out of surgery. Your need for physical therapy following surgery will be reduced as well—not completely eliminated, but you can expect to go through less physical therapy after surgery if you go through sufficient pre-hab beforehand.
The Importance of Physical Therapy—Both Before and After Surgery
As a surgical patient, it is important that you understand the realities of what surgery will do to your body. You cannot regain normal function following surgery if you do not go through physical therapy. That is why your physical therapist will develop a comprehensive plan to aid you in recovery. He or she will take stock of your current condition as well as the known issues that will result from your surgery. Then he or she will develop an exercise regimen specifically for your circumstances.
The nice thing about pre-hab is that you and your physical therapist get to start this process sooner. You can both establish a positive training routine, one that you can get accustomed to before surgery. Then, when you go start physical therapy after surgery, you will already be aware of how it works and what it will feel like. It will still be challenging. The more severe the surgery the more challenging you can expect it to be. But that challenge will be a little bit easier to overcome because you have already begun training.
Helping You Recover Quickly from Surgery
Our physical therapy team is passionate about helping surgical patients get their lives back as quickly as possible. We all understand the difficulties that surgery can present. We want you to know that we are here to help.
Are you considering surgery in the near future? Or, have you already scheduled a surgery? Please give us a call to speak to one of our team members about your options for physical therapy both before and after surgery. Take advantage of our expertise and the time you have available to start down the road to recovery now. There is no need to wait. Please contact us now to learn more!
Have you been told by your doctor that you require surgery? Such news is never easy to hear, but there are some things you can do to make the process go more smoothly and to help your recovery. One of the most important is to ensure that you will get proper post-surgical rehab—generally referred to as physical therapy. Please get in touch with our team of physical therapists to learn more about your options for physical therapy. We look forward to assisting with all your physical therapy needs!
Why is Physical Therapy so Important Following Surgery?
There are many different types of surgeries, each of which has a specific impact on your body that must be carefully considered and addressed. Obviously, some surgeries are more invasive than others. But what almost all surgeries have in common is that they cause physical damage—damage that physical therapy is designed to repair as effectively as possible. Whether you are getting your knee replaced, heart surgery or surgery to repair your ACL, you are going to need physical therapy afterward to get you back on your feet.
The vast majority of surgeries result in symptoms like inflammation, pain, loss of mobility and swelling. Many of these symptoms may have existed before the surgery as well, which is why you have to get surgery in the first place. After surgery you may face new difficulties like struggling to stand, walk, sit and even dress. There may also be things that you are instructed not to do by your doctor after the surgery. Physical therapy is designed to address all these issues and teach you what you need to know and how you need to move after your surgery.
Some of your doctor’s instructions may be a bit confusing. The doctor may tell you to avoid bearing weight at all or to partially avoid bearing weight on your limb. Instructions can get even more technical, like telling you to follow “posterior hip precautions.” How are you supposed to follow these instructions? And how do you follow instructions that you do not even really understand to begin with?
Post-surgical rehab will cover everything you require after surgery, including clarifying medical terminology and helping you learn how to move without causing additional damage. There is plenty of evidence that rehab is effective, so you can rest assured that your hard work will pay off. Your rehab efforts have the additional benefits of not requiring pharmaceuticals to get results and being non-invasive. You get maximum results with minimal side effects.
How Does Post-Surgical Rehab with a Physical Therapist Work?
Working with a qualified physical therapist is one of the best things you can do after surgery. Each physical therapist is an expert in how the human body works and what is required to recover from an injury. They can accomplish a lot through targeted exercises and training, including:
- Helping to limit the inflammation, pain and swelling you experience
- Lessen the development of scar tissue and help wounds heal more quickly
- Assist in improving circulation, gaining strength and increasing range of motion
- Aid you in regaining functional mobility—the mobility that lets you do the things you love and the things you need to do like hobbies, sports and work
- Teach you how to use tools and adaptive equipment as needed for any changes you experience following surgery
Your physical therapist will conduct a careful examination after surgery to determine your current condition. He or she will create a routine that includes exercises targeted towards your needs and guide you through those exercises. Physical therapists have numerous exercises, approaches and specialized pieces of equipment to help you achieve your recovery goals.
The time it takes for you to recover will depend on multiple factors, including your specific surgery and your level of fitness before surgery. It is possible to get physical therapy before surgery as well to improve your recovery time.
Get Post-Surgical Rehab Today
If you are going through surgery we would like to help with your recovery. Please give us a call at our Bedford, NH center, around the greater Manchester area, to schedule an appointment with one of our highly-trained physical therapists today.