Surgery is often viewed as the last and most targeted form of treatment, and it typically provides fantastic results for a variety of ailments. However, it’s not the surgery alone or the surgeon’s skill that drives home the best results after an operation. While those factors play a role, so too does your participation in and commitment to a physical therapy plan after surgery.
Some people think that they will recover ust fine after surgery as long as they let healing run its course, but you’re cheating yourself out of a full recovery by not aggressively pursuing physical therapy. In today’s blog, we explain what’s at stake if you skip out on your PT after surgery.
What Will Happen If I Skip PT After Surgery?
After surgery, it’s your time to put in the work to help your body heal. Here’s what’s at stake after your operation if you skip out on PT.
- An Extended Recovery – Physical therapy not only helps you heal, but it helps you heal faster. Strength training exercises can help you return to normal activities, like work or athletics, sooner after surgery.
- Flexibility and Mobility – With many surgeries, there is a specific timetable for re-establishing flexibility and mobility in joints, muscles and artificially strengthened structures. That’s why physical therapy is oftentimes recommended as soon as you can safely tolerate movement. If you don’t start working on increasing this flexibility after surgery, you may never fully recover it.
- Good, Not Great – Many people will get to the point where they feel better than they did prior to their operation simply because the nagging issue has been surgically corrected. However, when it comes to your health, you shouldn’t settle for good when it can be great, and that’s what you’re doing if you skip out on strengthening PT exercises.
- Pain – There will most likely be some pain and discomfort that occurs while you’re recovering, and sometimes physical therapy even results in more short-term discomfort because of the exercises you’re being asked to perform. However, studies have shown that physical therapy can help to reduce pain and opioid dependence in the short-term, and it can help limit long-term pain as well. Physical therapy can help act as a natural painkiller, so don’t skip out on it.
- Injury Recurrence – Everyone assumes that surgery will solve their health issue, and while it may provide some short-term relief, if you don’t participate in physical therapy, you’re at a heightened risk for a setback during your recovery or later in life. If an artificial joint isn’t properly stabilized with physical therapy or you don’t work to reduce scar tissue after an open operation, you’re at a higher risk for needing a subsequent corrective surgery. You don’t want to go through all of this again because you weren’t diligent about your participation in physical therapy.
There is a lot at stake with your health in the wake of an operation, so don’t skip out on your physical therapy exercises and assume you’ll make a fine recovery without it. Instead, trust your rehabilitation to a team of talented physical therapists who will help push you to become a healthier version of yourself. For more information or for help with your PT program, reach out to the team at OrthoRehab Specialists today.
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