Many people understand why physical therapy may be helpful after undergoing surgery. However, some don’t realize it can also prove beneficial before a major operation. Combining the two has been shown to significantly improve the overall recovery experience for patients. The following points illustrate exactly why.
Post-Surgery Physical Therapy
You may already know of the benefits of post-surgery physical therapy. It boosts patient mobility, reduces the length of healing periods, and guards against muscle mass loss. It also helps reduce the risk of reinjury.
It’s often difficult for a patient to understand whether they’re ready to return to various physical activities when recovering from surgery. They may feel they’re ready to participate in such activities before they’ve actually healed. This puts them at a greater risk of future harm.
With help from a physical therapist, they’ll have a more accurate understanding of their capabilities during the healing process. They’ll also develop those abilities quicker than they would without the therapy.
Pre-Surgery Physical Therapy
The benefits of physical therapy before surgery may not be as clear as those of post-surgery physical therapy. That said, they are substantial.
It’s worth noting that in some cases, physical therapy can negate the need for surgery altogether. Of course, it’s always important to heed the advice of a physician in these circumstances. If they still recommend surgery after physical therapy, patients should act on their recommendations.
However, there are instances in which physical therapy can render surgery unnecessary if a patient is struggling with back pain or similar problems. This therapy can also substantially help even when surgery remains necessary, according to the American Physical Therapy Association.
Speeding up the healing process is just one major benefit it offers. Performing certain exercises regularly before undergoing a surgical procedure often boosts circulation in patients, which strengthens the body’s natural healing processes. Additionally, this therapy helps to guard against muscle atrophy during a postoperative recovery period.
This has major implications for patients. Obviously, the idea of spending less time in a hospital after an operation is appealing from a quality of life perspective. Patients are often more comfortable when they can recover from home. By reducing the need for long hospital stays, pre-operative physical therapy also helps patients save money on medical bills in the long run.
These are all good reasons to work with a physical therapist both before and after surgery. If you’re undergoing a procedure in the future, this therapy will make the recovery experience much easier.