Undergoing surgery is often a challenging and life-altering experience. Whether it is a joint replacement, cardiac procedure, or other surgical intervention, it can leave you in discomfort and feeling weak. As a result, careful attention and support during post-surgical rehabilitation is essential to ensure you make a quick and complete recovery, allowing you to resume the meaningful activities you love.
Fortunately, there is a way for you to enhance and speed up the surgical recovery process – physical therapy. Let us explore the significant contributions of physiotherapy in promoting optimal healing and restoring function after surgery. From regaining range of motion to managing pain and swelling, the benefits of post-surgery physiotherapy are substantial, fostering a smoother path towards recovery and improved quality of life.
Benefit #1: Restores your flexibility and range of motion
Post-surgery, you will likely encounter stiffness in the affected body part, thus affecting your mobility. That is due to the natural response of your body to safeguard the area where trauma – in this case, surgery – occurs, causing limited range of motion, muscle tightness, spasms, and swelling. These symptoms can make it challenging for you to get around.
Fortunately, working with a physiotherapist can help you regain your range of motion. The physiotherapist will assess your condition and recommend suitable exercises and stretching routines to gradually restore the range of motion and flexibility in affected joints. Performing these exercises aids in regaining normal function, allowing you to return to your regular activities quickly. It also reduces the risk of complications, like joint contractures, which can lead to permanent stiffness.
Benefit #2: Promotes optimal healing post-surgery
After an injury or surgery, your soft tissue contracts as part of the natural healing process, causing scar tissue to form. If the healing process is affected, it can cause excess scar tissue to form, reducing your function and movement. A physiotherapist can help promote optimal healing through various mobilisation techniques and modalities, enhancing the body’s natural healing mechanism and reducing the risk of post-surgery complications.
Benefit #3: Build strength and muscular enduration
After surgery, you may remain immobilised for an extended duration. During this period, muscle atrophy can occur due to a lack of activity, resulting in a loss of muscle function. Under the supervision of a knowledgeable physiotherapist, physical therapy can help strengthen your weakened muscles and improve muscular endurance without disrupting the natural healing process. Don’t think of it as “working out”. Instead, it is about rebuilding the muscle strength necessary for long-term function, ensuring you feel better than ever.
Benefit #4: Manage the pain and swelling
Pain and swelling in the affected area is natural after any surgery. However, many patients worry that physical therapy may exacerbate the pain. But that could not be further from the truth. In fact, a suitable amount of activity, stretching, and range of motion exercises, progressing at the appropriate pace under the watchful eye of a physiotherapist, can help reduce pain and inflammation significantly.
In addition to the movements and exercises, a physiotherapist can recommend suitable pain management and swelling reduction techniques, such as heat and cold therapy, to stimulate blood flow and reduce swelling and inflammation, promoting healing and reducing overall pain levels. As a result, you do not have to rely on harsh medications, like painkillers, to manage the discomfort.
Benefit #5: Enhance balance and coordination
Specific surgical procedures, such as knee or hip replacement, can disrupt your sense of balance and coordination, interrupting your daily functioning. By working with a physiotherapist who can incorporate appropriate balance and coordination exercises into your rehabilitation programme, you can regain your sense of equilibrium and reduce the risk of falls. Performing exercises that strengthen your core muscles, like your back and pelvis, can also help increase stability and improve overall balance.
Benefit #6: Promote functional independence
Ultimately, the goal of post-surgical rehabilitation is to restore functional independence. After all, you would want to return to your regular routine as soon as possible. Physical therapy can help you achieve that, aiding you in regaining the strength, mobility, and endurance required for independent living.
A successful surgical outcome often hinges on the quality of the rehabilitation process. We hope what we shared can allow you to view physical therapy for what it is – an integral component of the journey towards recovery. Consult our physiotherapists if you are ready to undergo physical therapy to improve your quality of life. Our private physiotherapy clinics are located in the CBD area – Tanjong Pagar and Telok Ayer – making it convenient for you to head down for a consultation. Contact us today to learn more about our services.