Pre & Post-Surgical Rehab
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 PREP Performance Center in Lincoln Square, Irving Park, Lakeview, Horner Park, Roscoe Village & Ravenswood Chicago, IL 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 PREP Performance Center in Chicago, IL 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 an appointment.
Are you scheduled for an upcoming surgery and concerned about bouncing back from it well—or even hopeful that you’ll end up feeling stronger than before?
Our highly skilled and experienced team of physical therapy clinicians can guide you through the entire pre-surgical and post-surgical process so that you can maximize your outcomes and make the most out of any type of invasive procedure.
What Is Post-Surgical Rehab and What are the Benefits?
Both pre- and post-surgical rehab are essential elements to successful patient outcomes. Post-surgical rehab with a physical therapist is especially important in order to make sure things go smoothly after your operation is done. This is because any type of surgery is a form of trauma and can affect the body differently. Even minor and uncomplicated surgical procedures can have a major impact on your health.
Individualized post-surgical rehab with a physical therapist not only minimizes your pain and accelerates your rate of healing (and return to sport or work). It also reduces the chances of post-operative complications including infections, bleeding, blood clots, muscle weakness, scar tissue, decreased function, and other factors which can negatively impact your long-term health.
Another critical reason for electing post-surgical physical therapy is that it can help you reduce or completely avoid prescription pain killers, including opioids. An opioid epidemic is currently gripping the country and impacting every socioeconomic class. According to the CDC, an estimated 115 people every day die from opioid overdose, and upwards of 29% of people prescribed opioids will end up misusing these dangerous drugs!
For this reason, the CDC advises people to choose physical therapy over prescription painkillers whenever possible.
Common Reasons for Surgery and Things to Consider in the Post-Surgical Phase
When conservative treatment options for an injury or health condition fails to provide effective relief, many patients elect to undergo surgery for rotator cuff tears and other types of injury, including:
- Full or partial knee replacements
- Total hip replacements
- ACL, MCL, and/or meniscus repairs
- Heart surgery (e.g., ablations, stent placements, cardiac pacemakers, etc.)
The impact of these surgeries should not be understated. Most surgeries incur at least some degree pain, inflammation, mobility limitations, and swelling. To complicate matters, you likely were already experiencing pain and dysfunction prior to your operation!
Plus, you’ll likely have to learn how to do certain things some things all over again (even things as simple as walking and dressing), either to accommodate healing tissues and/or to avoid recurring dysfunction. Your physical therapist can teach you how to perform tasks safely while following critical post-operative guidelines (e.g. hip precautions, sternal precautions, spine precautions, non-weight bearing, etc.) which are often outlined by your surgeon.
How Physical Therapy Helps in Post-Surgical Rehab
No matter what your particular surgery may be, you can rely upon a physical therapist to get you moving again. Our physical therapy team is here to help you make sense of confusing medical terms and learn the right progressions of exercises and activities to maximize post-surgical recovery!
Instead of masking pain, physical therapy helps you resolve your pain and other impairments. We do this through techniques such as joint mobilizations, home exercise programs, and non-invasive modalities including therapeutic ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and cold laser therapy.
Depending on your post-operative environment, a physical therapist can also help you problem solve how to safely get in and out of a car, up and down stairs, in and out of bed, and so on while protecting your healing surgical site and keeping you safe. We can give you adaptive tools to compensate for reduced movement while at the same time working with your body to restore normal range of movement as quickly as possible.
Lastly, our physical therapy team can also educate you about lifestyle and nutritional techniques to optimize your healing and health in the long-term. That way, you’ll be far more likely to avoid re-injury, recurrent surgeries, and prolonged downtime.
Feeling anxious about an upcoming surgery? Contact us at Lincoln Square, Irving Park, Lakeview, Horner Park, Roscoe Village & Ravenswood Chicago, IL centers today to schedule a pre- and post-surgical appointment and set yourself up for post-operative success!