Physical Therapy After Orthopedic Surgery Is Work That Matters

By ProOrtho on
- Posted in: News

Sometimes if feels like we’ll never find the help we need to accomplish our goals. It could be any kind of support—advice from a friend, a doctor’s recommendation, a colleague putting in a good word…literally anything that helps us get where we need to go. The key is, we need it because its unique to our situation, and its absence makes it impossible to accomplish what matters to us.

It’s okay. The stuff that matters almost always feels beyond reach. In fact, if it doesn’t, we might be mistaken about what matters.

Take physical therapy after orthopedic surgery. Talk about a daunting task! We want to get back to our normal lives, sure, and that matters. But we’ve just been through surgery, and now they want us to work out?

Here’s the deal: PT yields the best recovery results post-orthopedic surgery for the following reasons:

  • It’s self-produced: sure, patients have a guide in the form of a physical therapist, but the work is done BY THE PATIENT, not TO THE PATIENT (sweat equity is a real thing).
  • It’s gradual: healing doesn’t happen after one session (get-rich quick schemes never work).
  • It’s owned: patients put their own mental and physical resources to work to make positive change (no one can heal for them).
  • It’s simple (to the patient, not the physical therapist): physical therapy is directed, persistent effort based on science and testing (there’s no magic involved).
  • It’s work: accomplishing what matters is rarely easy—in fact, if it is easy, perhaps we’re working on the wrong thing (difficulty often indicates we’re exactly where we need to be).

That’s right. While advancements in orthopedic surgery have dramatically reduced hospital stays, recovery time, and apprehension in patients, post-operative physical therapy accelerates the healing process so we can get back to life the way we want to live it. That’s because engaging in physical therapy after orthopedic surgery:

Reduces Pain—Physical therapy strengthens muscles and improves joint function, a combination that builds the quickest route to medication-free pain reduction.

Brings Back “Normal”—The point of orthopedic surgery is to give us our normal lives back as soon as possible, but we need a physical therapist’s expertise to avoid moving too quickly (causing re-injury) or too slowly (causing immobility).

Makes Recovery a Team Sport—Healing is hard work, but it’s even harder to do alone. Working with a physical therapist creates both accountability and motivation to stay on track (especially when we don’t feel like it).

Improves Circulation—A lack of activity after orthopedic surgery decreases blood flow, which increases healing time, pain, and risk of infection. Physical therapy keeps circulation healthy through targeted exercises, stretches, and massage.

Reveals Weaknesses—Our bodies are naturally imbalanced, but a physical therapist will identify and address any weak spots that are impeding recovery (and perhaps our enjoyment of everyday life).

Strengthens The Core—A strong core is easy for to overlook, but physical therapists often focus on core exercises to increase stability, which improves both recovery time and overall health.

Creates Possibility—Talk is cheap. The truth is, action, even imperfect action, is what leads to positive change, and one thing’s for sure—physical therapy is all about action.

There you have it—it’s time to get physical!

Here at ProOrtho, we’re all about keeping you moving, but with less pain and a lot more confidence, because we think you deserve nothing less.

If you’re looking for information on orthopedic surgery or how physical therapy will help you afterwards, reach out today!


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