How Physiotherapy Can Help Post-Surgical Recovery


Surgery can take a toll on your body, and you may not be as mobile as you usually are after your procedure while you recover. Additionally, surgery can increase your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and reduce your lung function. Your posture can also worsen after surgery due to general fatigue or subconsciously trying to compensate for temporary changes to your gait and balance caused by your procedure, which is quite common after abdominal surgery. Regardless of whether you've had cardiac, orthopaedic, abdominal, thoracic or any other type of surgery, you can benefit from working with a physiotherapist during your recovery period. Here are a few ways physiotherapy can help post-surgical recovery.

Strengthening Muscles

Muscle wasting can occur after long stays in the hospital or as a result of trauma caused by major surgery. A physiotherapist can work with you to assess your muscle strength and design an appropriate exercise program that will strengthen affected muscles and get you moving with confidence. This can improve recovery time and reduce your risk of developing blood clots.

Improving Range Of Motion

If you are experiencing joint stiffness or decreased range of motion in a specific area of your body after surgery, as is often the case with orthopaedic procedures, a physiotherapist can show you targeted exercises for improving your range of motion. These exercises may focus on improving your capacity to change positions with ease, such as moving from sitting to standing, or promote general joint health. This can help improve your overall mobility and promote independence.

Postural Correction

Back strengthening exercises can be used to improve your posture after surgery, but your physiotherapist can also show you how to use supportive aids, such as bands and back braces. These supportive aids work by holding your back in the correct alignment, which over time will alter your muscle memory and prevent you from slouching forward without the need to keep wearing the corrective brace.

Pain Management

Tight muscles, stiff joints, altered gait and reduced mobility can all contribute to prolonged post-surgical pain. Your physiotherapist can carry out a pain assessment to establish your level of pain and identify areas of tension or trigger points that could be hindering your recovery. Your physiotherapist may recommend low-impact exercises, hydrotherapy or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to tackle pain. TENS uses electrical currents transmitted through soft pads placed on your body at the site of your pain. The electrical currents temporarily block pain signals and can help you manage to carry out short periods of exercise pain-free to aid your recovery.

If you're about to have surgery or are recovering from surgery, book an initial assessment with a physiotherapist to see what treatment they'd recommend.

About Me

Getting to Know Your GP

Getting to know your GP is one of the wisest things you can do. For many years, I avoided all contact with my GP. I would always tell myself that whatever ailment I was suffering from, it wasn't anything that I couldn't fix with a few painkillers and a glass of water. Thankfully, one day, I bumped into my GP in the street. We started talking and started to become friends. I still avoided the medical centre, but now and again I would visit his home for a cup of coffee. On one of my visits, the doctor noticed that I didn't look well. He referred me to the hospital and they discovered that I had an infection in my lung. After treatment, I am now fighting fit again. I now always attend all of my medical appointments and I would like to encourage you to do the same.

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