What are the benefits of pre and post-surgical rehab? Why you should consider speaking with a physiotherapist before your upcoming surgery

Pre and post-surgical rehab

What are the benefits of pre and post-surgical rehab? Why you should consider speaking with a physiotherapist before your upcoming surgery

Pre and post surgical rehab is often recommended for those having orthopedic surgery. These types of surgeries could include foot, ankle, knee, hip, wrist, hand, shoulder, neck, and spine surgeries. Rehab can, however, be beneficial for just about any type of surgical procedure. A physiotherapist can put together both a pre and post-surgical rehabilitation plan for an individual preparing for surgery. The following are several important benefits of having pre and post-surgical rehab.

Benefits of Pre-Surgical Rehab

This is often called prehabilitation, and it helps an individual prepare physically and mentally for a surgical procedure. There are several benefits of going to rehab before your surgery.

  • Faster Recovery– Learning the exercises you’ll need to do before surgery trains your muscles in advance. This will make post-surgical rehab easier and more effective. PT in Motion News states that even a few sessions of physiotherapy prior to surgery can reduce post operative care for some patients.
  • Fewer Complications– The weaker and more frail an individual is, the more likely it is that the person will experience complications such as infection after a surgical procedure. Prehab can increase strength and immunity prior to surgery.
  • Less Anxiety– Patients that have undergone some sort of prehab are often less prone to anxiety or stress prior to the surgery. Starting a process of physical activity that improves strength, endurance, and flexibility can improve overall confidence that the procedure will be successful.

Benefits of Post-Surgical Rehab

It’s important to start a post-surgical rehabilitation plan as soon as your doctor states that you’re ready. The following are a few of the benefits of post-surgical rehab.

  • Improve Circulation– Improved circulation not only facilitates faster healing but reduces the chance of a blood clot forming. Something as simple as massage can improve circulation. Many types of basic exercises and simple movements prescribed by a physiotherapist can promote increased blood circulation.
  • Reduce Pain and Swelling– The right type of post-surgical treatment can help reduce the amount of pain and swelling you experience after your surgery. Icing and ultrasound are both techniques a physiotherapist may use to reduce localized swelling and pain. According to PT in Motion News, patients that received the same day, post-operative physiotherapy needed fewer opioids after knee surgery.
  • Regain Lost Strength– The more quickly you regain strength and stamina, the more quickly you’ll get back to your daily routine. A physiotherapy program can be designed to target the specific areas in your body that need strengthened after surgery.

How Physiotherapy Can Help

A trained physiotherapist can advise you regarding the best prehab and post-surgical plan for your specific needs. As soon as you know when your surgery is scheduled you’ll want to make an appointment with a physiotherapist. A therapist will likely do a complete physical assessment before creating a unique prehab and rehab program. Physiotherapy treatment can help you achieve as much strength, stamina, flexibility, and improved range of motion as possible both before and after your surgery. A physiotherapist may use a variety of manual therapies or teach you exercises you can do at home. A therapist might also use heat, ice, or electrical stimulation. You’ll want to get started as soon as possible to make sure you’re prepared for surgery and can make a quick and full recovery.

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Frustrated by your chronic joint pain? See how physiotherapy can help relieve arthritis pain

The latest study revealed an estimated 54.4 million US adults have diagnosed arthritis—about 1 in 4 Americans. Of those, about 27% report experiencing severe joint and arthritis pain.

 

Types of Arthritis

 

There are many types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis is the most common type. The cushioning surface on the bones wears away, and bone rubs against bone. The joints can lose strength, and joint pain is often chronic. With inflammatory arthritis, the immune system goes awry. It attacks the joints with inflammation. This can cause joint erosion and joint pain. Infectious arthritis occurs when a virus or bacteria enters the joint. Even though antibiotics may end the infection, arthritis can become chronic. Metabolic arthritis is due to too much uric acid in the body. It can build up and cause chronic joint pain.

 

Physiotherapy for Arthritis

 

Physiotherapy focuses on improving mobility for those with arthritis. It also restores the use of affected joints, reduces pain and strengthens muscles to support the joints. A physiotherapist will create an individualized treatment plan to improve flexibility, coordination and strength for maximum physical function.

 

Specifically, a physiotherapist will use exercise and manual therapy to treat arthritis. Strengthening exercises and weight-bearing exercises are implemented to improve joint lubrication. This helps reduce the pain associated with arthritis. A physiotherapist will develop a treatment plan that targets all areas of the body affecting the pain. For example, if you suffer from knee pain, the exercise regimen will include proper knee mechanics and the lower back, ankle and hip. Physiotherapists also use various manual therapy techniques like joint and soft tissue mobilization to treat the symptoms of arthritis.

 

Joint mobilization entails the moving of a joint through working with a natural level of resistance. This technique helps stretch and strengthen the tissue surrounding bone and reduces pain and increases range of motion. Other passive modalities that a physiotherapist may use to treat pain from arthritis include ultrasound, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), cryotherapy or heat. TENS utilizes electrodes to trick the pain from feeling pain. Ultrasound utilizes heat to help the deep tissues of joints. It helps reduce inflammation and pain. Cryotherapy reduces inflammation and swelling. All around, physiotherapy is a holistic treatment for arthritis.

 

Physiotherapy vs Surgery

 

According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Trying physiotherapy before opting for surgery may be the better choice. You may be able to spare yourself the expense, pain, and recovery time of surgery, says physiotherapist Karen Weber, clinical supervisor at Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Outpatient Centers in Braintree and Quincy, Mass. There is growing evidence supporting that idea. In the past few years, studies have indicated that physiotherapy is just as effective as surgery for relieving pain and restoring function for people with arthritis in their knees or backs.”

 

If you’re suffering from arthritis, it’s wise to consider physiotherapy. Not only is it non-invasive, you may be able to throw away those pain meds. The goal of physiotherapy is to help you live an active, pain-free life. Contact our physiotherapists to find your pain relief today!

Could your back pain be caused by a herniated disc? Here’s what to look for

How do you know whether you have a herniated disc or it’s just good old back pain? One telltale sign can be where the pain is located. With a herniated disc, the pain is typically located in the lumbar spine. That’s the lower part of your backbone. The pain may radiate from the back to the thighs, buttocks or calves. A herniated disc can cause pain whether you’re resting or active. Even a cough or sneeze can cause pain as it puts pressure on pinched nerves.

How to Tell if You Have a Herniated Disc

A good way to determine if you have a herniated disc is to visit your physician. Likely, your doctor will do a physical exam and may even take an x-ray. While an x-ray won’t show a herniated disc, it can help rule other causes of your pain like a fracture. If your doctor recommends having an MRI, this test can show detailed 3-D images of the spinal cord and pinpoint if there is a herniated disc. It also shows which nerves are affected.

The purpose of spinal discs is to act as a shock absorber when you engage in daily activities, like walking, sitting, lifting and running. Each disc has a soft inner ring and a tough outer ring. When the outer ring is injured, the inner ring may protrude out and cause pain. Common causes of a herniated disc include weak muscles, age, being overweight or leading a sedentary lifestyle. And if you turn suddenly, you can also incur a herniated disc.

Physiotherapy and Herniated Disc

A physiotherapist will have you engage in specific exercises to ease the pain and strengthen the muscles associated with a herniated disc. Physiotherapy programs also include ultrasound therapy, deep tissue massage, ice and heat treatment, stretching exercises, electrical muscle stimulation and aerobic exercises. Deep tissue massage uses pressure to relieve spasms and muscle tension due to a herniated disc. Heat therapy helps increase nutrients and oxygen to the affected area for healing. Cold therapy helps reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Active treatments like exercise for a herniated disc focus on core stability, flexibility and muscle strengthening. Keep in mind that core muscles help support the spine. Learning proper stretching and flexibility techniques will help your body move easier. Muscle strengthening creates a solid support system for the spine and helps relieve pain.

A physiotherapist will also teach your self-care principles and home exercises. This way, you can prevent further injury and enjoy the long-term effects of physiotherapy. With physiotherapy, you’re an active participant in your recovery.

“Herniated discs can be very painful injuries that impact your day-to-day life. The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to get surgery to repair your herniated disc. In fact, studies have shown that 90% of patients were able to recover by pursuing non-surgical courses of treatment like physiotherapy.” That percentage is a testament to how effective physiotherapy is in the treatment of a herniated disc.

Contact NRG Physiotherapy today!

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