Any surgery can be daunting. While you may think the post-op recovery process is about soup in bed and binge-watching your favorite shows, you’re wrong. To regain strength and mobility after surgery, you will most likely be recommended for physical therapy. Physical therapy after surgery involves customized exercises and specialized equipment tailored to your recovery and treatment goals.
The purpose of physical therapy is to get the patient to return to physical activity as soon as possible. Therapy strives to reduce pain, increase mobility and function, and promote the education of proper posture and body mechanics. Physical therapy is often prescribed to patients after surgery to treat soft tissue trauma, inflammatory problems, fractures, and many other problems.
During your initial consultation with your physical therapist, a great physical therapist will examine your medical history. Assessments can include measurements of balance, physical strength, and coordination, to name a few. He or she may make recommendations about your ability to return to work or partake in physical activities following surgery.
Rehabilitation after surgery can speed your recovery no matter what operation you have had. Anywhere from a procedure to treat cancer to heart surgery, physical therapy is vital for recovery. Physical therapy will likely begin while you’re still in the hospital. A therapist will help you out of bed and get you to walk again.
Unfortunately, many patients choose not to comply with recommendations of physical therapy. Often this is because they want to avoid the hassle or pain that is assumed to come with rehabilitation, but this is because it’s not understood why physical therapy is so vital for recovery.
Beneficial treatments of physical therapy include
Depending on the surgery and the individual, different techniques will be used. This is what makes physical therapy after surgery so valuable as it’s entirely customized to each person, and good physical therapists will work hands-on with you to meet your goals.
Unfortunately, many patients do not execute on physical therapy. This can be for many reasons including fear of pain, or most often, patients do not understand why PT is so important for recovery. When working with your PT, simply ask how it will benefit you.
A big part of rehabilitation after surgery is continued education and transparency. It’s true, PT will push you out of your comfort zone at times, but it’s important to communicate with your physical therapist. He or she will work with you to find alternate exercises to support your recovery.
To prepare for your first therapy appointment, be sure to write down important facts about the history of your condition.
Feel comfortable to bring your own pen and paper to write down important details so nothing is forgotten.
After your initial consultation, be prepared to do a lot of moving during your physical therapy sessions. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to wear comfy clothes. He or she may use modalities such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation. Your PT will also make recommendations about how frequently to return for treatments. It may be as frequent as 3 times a week or as little as one.
Your doctor will often be the person to refer you to a physical therapist, however, in the state of Arizona, legislation is in place which allows for Direct Access to physical therapy. This means that in many cases, you do not need a referral from your doctor. Although many insurance plans do require a doctor referral and/or pre-authorization.
The best way to determine if you can start your plan of care directly with a physical therapist would be to call your insurance company and inquire about your benefits. You are welcome to call us, and we would be happy to inquire on your behalf.
If you have further questions or would like to reach out to us, contact us today! We look forward to working with you.