What are the benefits of pre and post-surgical rehab? Why you should consider speaking with a physical therapist before your upcoming surgery.

Pre and post surgical rehab is often recommended for those having orthopedic surgery. These types of surgeries could include foot, ankle, knee, hip, wrist, hand, shoulder, neck, and spine surgeries. Rehab can, however, be beneficial for just about any type of surgical procedure. A physical therapist can put together both a pre and post-surgical rehabilitation plan for an individual preparing for surgery. The following are several important benefits of having pre and post-surgical rehab.

Benefits of Pre-Surgical Rehab

This is often called prehabilitation, and it helps an individual prepare physically and mentally for a surgical procedure. There are several benefits of going to rehab before your surgery.

  • Faster Recovery– Learning the exercises you’ll need to do before surgery trains your muscles in advance. This will make post-surgical rehab easier and more effective. PT in Motion News states that even a few sessions of physical therapy prior to surgery can reduce post operative care for some patients.
  • Fewer Complications– The weaker and more frail an individual is, the more likely it is that the person will experience complications such as infection after a surgical procedure. Prehab can increase strength and immunity prior to surgery.
  • Less Anxiety– Patients that have undergone some sort of prehab are often less prone to anxiety or stress prior to the surgery. Starting a process of physical activity that improves strength, endurance, and flexibility can improve overall confidence that the procedure will be successful.

Benefits of Post-Surgical Rehab

It’s important to start a post-surgical rehabilitation plan as soon as your doctor states that you’re ready. The following are a few of the benefits of post-surgical rehab.

  • Improve Circulation– Improved circulation not only facilitates faster healing but reduces the chance of a blood clot forming. Something as simple as massage can improve circulation. Many types of basic exercises and simple movements prescribed by a physical therapist can promote increased blood circulation.
  • Reduce Pain and Swelling– The right type of post-surgical treatment can help reduce the amount of pain and swelling you experience after your surgery. Icing and ultrasound are both techniques a physical therapist may use to reduce localized swelling and pain. According to PT in Motion News, patients that received the same day, post-operative physical therapy needed fewer opioids after knee surgery.
  • Regain Lost Strength– The more quickly you regain strength and stamina, the more quickly you’ll get back to your daily routine. A physical therapy program can be designed to target the specific areas in your body that need strengthened after surgery.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

A trained physical therapist can advise you regarding the best prehab and post-surgical plan for your specific needs. As soon as you know when your surgery is scheduled you’ll want to make an appointment with a physical therapist. A therapist will likely do a complete physical assessment before creating a unique prehab and rehab program. Physical therapy treatment can help you achieve as much strength, stamina, flexibility, and improved range of motion as possible both before and after your surgery. A physical therapist may use a variety of manual therapies or teach you exercises you can do at home. A therapist might also use heat, ice, or electrical stimulation. You’ll want to get started as soon as possible to make sure you’re prepared for surgery and can make a quick and full recovery.

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