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When to Start Physical Therapy After Surgery

Undergoing surgery is a significant event that often marks the beginning of a journey toward improved health and well-being. One crucial step on this road to recovery is physical therapy (PT). It plays an essential role in restoring mobility, strength, and function after surgery. However, the question of when to begin physical therapy after surgery is one that requires careful consideration. In this blog, we will explore the factors that influence the timing of starting physical therapy and provide insights into making the best decision for your unique situation.

The Importance of Physical Therapy Post-Surgery:

Physical therapy is a specialized form of treatment aimed at restoring, maintaining, and improving physical function and mobility. After surgery, the body’s tissues and structures may need time to heal, leading to temporary limitations in movement and function. Physical therapy can help prevent complications such as stiffness, muscle atrophy, and reduced range of motion. By engaging in appropriate exercises and techniques, patients can regain strength, flexibility, and function more efficiently.

Factors Influencing the Timing of Physical Therapy:

Type of Surgery: The nature of the surgery plays a significant role in determining when physical therapy should commence. Invasive procedures or surgeries involving major joints might require a longer recovery period before starting PT. Conversely, less invasive surgeries may allow for earlier initiation of therapy.

Surgeon’s Recommendations: Surgeons often work closely with physical therapists to create a comprehensive post-operative plan. They consider the specifics of the surgery, the patient’s health status, and any potential risks before recommending when to start physical therapy.

Healing Progress: The body’s healing process is unique to each individual. Starting physical therapy too early could hinder healing and potentially lead to complications. Conversely, waiting too long might result in decreased outcomes due to muscle weakening or joint stiffness. Monitoring your progress with your healthcare team is crucial to determining the optimal timing.

Pain and Swelling: Pain and swelling are common after surgery, and they can impact your ability to participate in physical therapy effectively. Starting therapy too soon when pain is intense could be counterproductive. Managing pain and inflammation through appropriate medications and interventions is essential before beginning PT.

Overall Health: A patient’s overall health and pre-existing conditions also play a role. Conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or compromised immune systems might require more cautious approaches to physical therapy timing.

Making the Decision:

The decision of when to start physical therapy should be a collaborative effort involving you, your surgeon, and your physical therapist. Open communication is key. Your healthcare team will assess your condition, monitor your healing progress, and consider your pain levels to make an informed recommendation.

At Peacock Physical Therapy, located in Waldorf, MD, we are committed to providing you with the highest quality care and personalized physical therapy services tailored to your unique needs.

Our experienced team of surgeons and physical therapists will work closely with you to determine the optimal timing for starting physical therapy after your surgery. Your health, comfort, and successful recovery are our top priorities. Whether you’ve undergone a major procedure or a minor intervention, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Don’t wait to take charge of your recovery and regain your mobility and strength. Contact us today at 240-718-8103 to schedule an appointment and begin your personalized post-operative physical therapy journey. Your recovery starts here at Peacock Physical Therapy.

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Dr. Janine Peacock

Peacock Physical Therapy

We Help People Suffering With Nagging Aches & Pains With Nagging Aches & Pains Get Back To Living Their Best Life Without Medications, Injections, Or Surgery