Are you planning on having some type of surgery in the near future? You may be concerned with how well the surgery will go or how long it will take to recover. While many people may understand the importance of physical therapy after having a surgical procedure, they may not see the need to have physical therapy treatments before the surgery. Contact Sports & Orthopaedic Therapy Services to find out how physical therapy before surgery can help with a quicker recovery after your surgery is completed.
What is pre-surgical physical therapy?
Pre-surgical physical therapy is increasingly being recommended by surgeons to improve outcomes for their patients. Studies have shown that beginning physical therapy a month or so before you go through surgery can significantly speed up your recovery time. While you may feel anxious preparing for surgery, having physical therapy before the procedure will help you in being as physically prepared as possible.
Reasons for pre-surgical physical therapy
Surgery is generally considered to be somewhat traumatic to the body and is normally only performed when there are no other options to achieve the desired results. The National Institutes of Health states that exercise therapy before surgery can improve postoperative outcomes. For this reason, steps should be taken to reduce the strain and prepare the body as adequately as possible. Physical therapy before surgery can help you both physically and mentally prepare for the procedure. Therapy can improve both range of motion and patterns of movement. A physical therapy program can also teach you exercises that you can perform after the surgery, in order to improve your recovery. A good physical therapy routine can provide you with a general sense of well-being and improved physical health.
How physical therapy helps before surgery
There are six specific ways physical therapy can help prior to receiving surgery:
- Increase Stamina – There will always be a loss of strength after undergoing surgery. Pre-hab can reduce the loss and help you increase your stamina before you have a surgical procedure. Engaging in a physical routine before surgery will improve your overall stamina.
- Reduce Pain – Whatever condition you’re having surgery for, a physical therapist can help reduce your levels of pain before you have a surgical procedure. A physical therapist may use a variety of methods to limit pain, including heat and ice therapy, exercise, and massage.
- Improve Outcomes – According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), pre-hab improves patient outcomes and can even save money in the long term. The stronger you are before the surgery, the more likely the surgery will be successful.
- Reduce Complications – Physical therapy, particularly an exercise program, can increase your strength and endurance. This, in turn, can improve immunity, which means there is less of a chance that you’ll get an infection after surgery.
- Shorten Recovery – If you have already received treatment for your condition with physical therapy, you may experience a shorter recovery time after surgery. Strong and toned muscles will mean you’ll be able to get back to your regular routine more quickly.
- Possibly Avoid Surgery – It may be possible to avoid surgery entirely, after you’ve completed physical therapy. If your condition begins to improve considerably after starting physical therapy, you’ll want to consult with your physician regarding future treatment options.
Physical therapy can provide several benefits before surgery for many patients. If you’re having surgery in the near future, you’ll want to consult with a physical therapist to see what kind of treatment program can help you achieve the best results. Being physically strong, flexible, and as healthy as possible will help you quickly regain normal function following the surgery. Starting a pre-hab program also means you’ll be able to establish a positive training routine that you will already be accustomed to before your surgery.
Whether you’re considering surgery or have already scheduled surgery, contact Sports & Orthopaedic Therapy Services in Silver Spring, MD to speak to one of our qualified team members about your physical therapy options. For the best results, it’s important to get started as soon as possible. Contact us today to schedule a consult.