If you suffer an injury or undergo an elective surgery, you may believe that rest is the best thing you can do for your body to help it heal. While rest is ideal in the very short term, if you want to experience the fullest recovery, you need to start engaging these recovering tissues to help strengthen them. If you put off targeted physical therapy, there are a number of things that may or may not happen in your body, and those factors can inhibit your chance to make a full recovery. We take a look at those factors and explain why it’s so important to start physical therapy early in today’s blog.
The Benefits Of Early PT
If your injury doesn’t seem that severe, you may not believe that jumping into a physical therapy routine right away is all that important. However, that may be misguided. Here’s why:
- Damage can continue as time goes on – Research shows that muscle atrophy and nerve changes can begin within 24 hours of injury, so it pays to begin physical therapy early. This early intervention can help to stop some of these changes from taking place, meaning there is less damage to heal. With less damage to heal, patients can often get back to full health sooner.
- Preserves range of motion – After surgery, scar tissue develops as part of the healing process. However, this scar tissue can envelop key nerves and lead to pain or other nerve problems. Early physical therapy can help to break up this scar tissue formation so it’s less likely to entrap nerves. This also helps to improve mobility in the affected area.
- Decreased patient costs – Meeting with a physical therapist can seem like it’s adding to your total medical costs, but it often helps to save patients money in the long run. Again, early intervention can help you recover sooner, meaning you may not need to attend as many sessions as someone you started PT later. Also, physical therapy can help reduce your likelihood of needing surgery, which can be very expensive.
- You dictate your recovery – Jumping into a physical therapy routine early on gives patients more control over their recovery journey. Active treatment options help patients gain a sense of control over their recovery, like they aren’t just at the mercy of the healing process. This helps to put you in a healthy mindset, and your mental health plays a bigger role than you may imagine on your ability to recover from a physical injury.
- Provides answers – After an injury, many patients have questions but don’t know who to turn to for answers. That’s where a physical therapist comes in! We can provide answers and guidance for any issues you may come across throughout your recovery process. The earlier you get answers to these questions, the sooner you can start doing all the right things for your body.
So if you have suffered an injury or have recently been discharged after an operation, consider setting up an appointment with a physical therapist. Nobody ever says that they wish they would have started therapy later, but we’ve heard from countless patients how if they could do it all again, they would have started PT much sooner! Begin your recovery journey today with OrthoRehab Specialists.