Physical Therapy After Surgery

Posted on January 31 2020

Physical Therapy After Surgery

Rehabilitation after surgery is a critical factor in helping patients improve range of motion, increase strength and function, and improve quality of life. Our Physical Therapists are trained to help manage the pain which is an important first step in promoting a healthy and healing environment for you to recover following surgery. Some ways a Physical Therapist can help you control your pain may include:

  • Moist heat and cold therapy
  • Electrotherapy
  • Appropriate soft tissue massage
  • Proper body positioning
  • Gentle joint mobilizations and movements

Physical Therapy After Surgery Helps You to Heal Faster

It’s proven that physical therapy is an important part of the healing process. When you do stretches and strengthening exercises it helps you regain balance, control, and range of motion in the area where your surgery was performed. Our licensed physical therapists will work with you to develop a detailed therapy program which may include:


 Enhanced Mobility and Flexibility

Enhanced Mobility and Flexibility After Surgery

To improve flexibility and mobility your physical therapist will focus on range-of-motion moves, stretching and strengthening exercises, and stabilizing muscles that will help you regain flexibility and movement. If you’re not sure if you have a healthy level of mobility, consider talking to one of our licensed physical therapists who can assess how you move.

Good circulation is an important part of the recovery process. 

Optimal Circulation In The Recovery Process

Good circulation is an important part of the recovery process – it delivers oxygen and nutrients which is vital for healing, especially in the hours and days just after surgery. Depending on your procedure, your physical therapist will show you exercises that will promote circulation and flexibility.

 Strengthen Surrounding Muscles After Surgery

 Strengthen Surrounding Muscles

After surgery, you can expect that your muscles will be weak. When muscles weaken from pain or disuse, other muscles overpower the weaker ones. This leads to an imbalance where the weaker muscles become longer, and the stronger muscles become shorter. Your recovery will be shorter as you strengthen the surrounding muscles, learn compensatory strategies and begin reusing the limb or joint in a natural way. A physical therapist will help advise you on how and when to start strengthening exercises for these areas.

 Alternative Pain Reduction Includes Aquatic Therapy

Pain Reduction After Surgery Without Medication

Our PT’s will also address pain without medication through the use of massage, manual therapy, gentle stretches, dry needling, aquatic therapy, ice/heat therapy, and other techniques.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, every day, more than 130 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare.

Since opioids mask the pain without treating its underlying cause, many people are choosing to forgo pain meds altogether in favor of a more natural treatment. Fortunately, physical therapy not only helps relieve pain, but it also addresses what is causing the pain in the first place.

 Exercise is vital to getting better after surgery.

Exercise After Surgery

Exercise is vital to getting better after surgery. It is the key to getting back to activities safely, eliminating fatigue, promoting proper movement strategies, enhancing strength, and avoiding re-injury. Your physical therapist will develop a customized exercise program based on the type of surgery you had. Patients will typically learn the exercises at the PT office and then do them on their own as a home exercise program or at the gym.

Since Fit Physical Therapy offices are within many recreational centers around the Denver metro area, we can work with you to find the best exercise program that will benefit you using the gym equipment or pools.

Physical therapy is a vital part of recovery after surgery. Not only can it help you heal faster, improve your flexibility and range of motion and minimize scar tissue development, but it can also help you manage pain levels without excessive use of prescription narcotics. If you need help with your recovery, Contact Us to find out how physical therapy can help you return to an active lifestyle.

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