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How Soon Should You Start Physical Therapy After Surgery?

How Soon Should You Start Physical Therapy After Surgery?

December 29, 2021
By Next Level Physical Therapy

Why the Success of Your Surgery Often Depends on What You Do Next

Surgery is never easy. It is a stressful and sometimes painful process. However, there is one key thing that you can do after surgery to prevent pain and help speed up your recovery, physical therapy (PT). 

Today, many surgeons recommend starting PT almost immediately after surgery. At Next Level Physical Therapy & Athletic Performance, we offer a whole-body approach to our training. We provide tailored solutions to meet your short-term recovery needs and your long-term wellness goals. 

If you are a post-operative patient or are considering physical therapy, contact our office at (661) 383-9828 to discuss how we can help.

What Is the Average Timeline After Surgery?

What happens after surgery largely depends on the type of surgery that you have done. It is essential that you listen to the recommendations of your surgeon and follow their instructions carefully. 

Your post-operation timeline may suggest:

  • Within 1 to 3 days after surgery -  Within 1 to 3 days after surgery, you will likely be released from the hospital. Depending on the type of surgery that you had, your doctor may recommend that you begin moving or completing simple strengthening exercises at the hospital or immediately after release.
  • Within one week after surgery - Your surgeon should schedule your first post-operative visit within one week after surgery. At this visit, you may discuss the next steps in your recovery process, including starting a more rigorous physical therapy routine.
  • Within one month after surgery - Again, depending on the type of surgery, you may be able to start returning to normal activities. You should be well into your physical therapy at this point and continuing it for the next several weeks or months.

The vast majority of surgeons are now recommending starting a physical therapy regimen soon after your operation. Beginning these strengthening exercises on schedule and continuing them can prove vital to your recovery.

Why Physical Therapy Is Crucial to Your Recovery

After surgery, a person’s muscles can begin to weaken with fatigue losing strength and range of motion. Physical therapy not only helps you to regain that strength and improve the range of motion, but it also has several other less obvious benefits.

Benefits of physical therapy after surgery:

  • Heal faster - By starting physical therapy immediately after surgery, it can help you heal faster. It is not only the area where the surgery was completed that can deteriorate; the surrounding muscles can weaken because of nonuse. Physical therapy works to improve the core, increase stability, mobility, flexibility, balance, and strength.
  • Minimize scar tissue buildup - Scar tissue can quickly form after an injury or because of the surgery itself. Scar tissue can decrease a person’s mobility and become extremely painful to break up. Physical therapy helps to minimize scar tissue formation and prevent pain. 
  • Non-medicated pain relief - Not only does physical therapy prevent the painful buildup of scar tissue, but it can also help act as a natural pain reliever. The stretches and strengthening exercises physical therapists use are designed to restore function to your joints and muscles, reducing or eliminating your pain without the use of potentially dangerous drugs.

Physical therapy can also improve blood circulation and ensure that there are no problems between post-op visits with your surgeon. A physical therapist may observe a postoperative complication that needs to be addressed. 

Ready to Take Your Recovery to the Next Level?

Whether you have just had surgery, have an operation planned in the future, or have suffered a debilitating injury, we can help. Numerous studies have shown the importance of physical therapy to a full recovery and long-term wellness. 

If you are interested in taking your recovery to the next level, contact our office at (661) 383-9828 to schedule an evaluation today.

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