The Importance of Physical Therapy Pre-Surgery
We often equate physical therapy with the practice of what we do after we have experienced surgery or are recovering from an injury. Indeed, it is well documented how physical therapy post-surgery helps to minimize scar tissues, expedites recovery, and helps you to regain strength and mobility. However, what may be surprising to hear, is that physical therapy is useful BEFORE surgery. Research shows that participating in PT before surgery may actually be more beneficial to your body in the long run.
Reduce Recovery Time: Studies show that pre-operative physical therapy can reduce postoperative care by up to 29% in patients who have total knee or total hip replacement. This means a reduction in cost as well as a shortened recovery time. In addition to this, not only does it reduce recovery time post-op, benefits can be seen in as little as a couple of PT sessions prior to your surgery. Your pre-op PT sessions will focus less on strength building, but more on preparing you for the movements and exercises you will need after your surgery. For example, this may look like training on what it will be like moving with a walker, discussing the plan for recovery, and learning and practicing the exercises that will be executed after your surgery. Taking some time to prep and practice what things are going to look like and what movements are going to be in the future only benefits your body and your recovery down the road.
Shorten Hospitalization: Low-intensity exercise designed and performed under the guidance of your physical therapist will improve circulation which in turn will help to speed up recovery and your body’s healing response. In addition to this, patients who work on building up strength in their core, arms, legs and back are preparing their body for a more successful recovery. By building up these major muscle groups you will help to limit atrophy during your recovery. Finally, when you have a strong core, your balance is improved which could help to limit dangerous falls as you recover post-surgery.
Prevent Surgery Altogether: Of course, with full joint replacements, surgery is necessary and likely unavoidable. However, by participating in physical therapy prior to surgery, you may find that soft tissue damage and injury is improved, thereby restoring function. The end result is that surgery may no longer be required. We know the PT is something people tend to think of as only beneficial after surgery, however, working with a physical therapist has remarkable results prior to surgery as well- you may be surprised at how beneficial it actually is.
From reducing recovery time to shortened hospital stays to avoiding surgery altogether in some cases, physical therapy has proven benefits for your body!
We are still here for you for your post-surgery needs, however, that is not all we do!
Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/millerphysicaltherapydelraybeach or give us a call at 561.278.6055 to see how we can support you as you work towards your health and wellness goals! Remember: We also offer in-home treatments!