Physiotherapy is an excellent complement to post-surgery care and can help a patient restore range of motion and a return to normal movement. However, much like healing, the results don’t happen overnight. Physiotherapy allows for a progression towards wellness. That said, it can help you heal faster and return to regular movements in less time.
You may need physiotherapy if you’ve had:
- Joint replacement surgery
- A total hip replacement
- Anterior cruciate ligament repair
- Rotator cuff surgery
- Spinal surgery
The Phases of Post-Surgery Physio
As soon as a patient is discharged from their surgery, and until the tissues have healed, your physiotherapist will work with you to assist in early walking and simple exercises that will help return muscle functionality without disturbing the healing process. There will likely be gentle therapy to help restore range of motion. This early phase is designed to:
- Assist with pain management
- Reduce swelling
- Return movement back to the area in a safe, effective manner
Once the surgical area is primarily healed and strength is returning, physiotherapy will integrate more complex exercises customized to each individual’s comfort and physical goals. Every patient is different. An elite athlete, for example, may have specific plans they need to reach to continue advancing in their sport. Other patients may simply want to return to the general level of movement they had pre-surgery.
The restoration phase allows the patient to practice:
- More advanced exercise to move towards a patient’s functional goal
- Challenging exercises integrating balance and proprioception
- Continued manual manipulation to restore range of motion the affected joint
Remember: Every Recovery Journey is Unique
The healing process, especially after a significant surgery, takes time, and it’s essential to be patient with your body to give it the room it needs to heal. Timelines also differ. For example, those who have a hip replacement are advised to not bend at the hip past 90 degrees for the first several months post-operation. Those recovering from ACL repairs or rotator cuff surgery also have restrictions on movement – at least at first. That said, giving up moving altogether could have negative knock-on benefits that might restrict range of motion indefinitely. By working with a physiotherapist, patients can understand their own healing process and how they can help their bodies recover more quickly.
Need help preparing for physiotherapy post-surgery? We can help! Speak to the team at Achieve Health, and we’ll work with you to develop a plan that will get you back on your feet.