From the Blog

How exercise can speed healing after surgery

Exercise is an important part of everyone's day-to-day life, but it can also play a critical role in preparing for and healing from surgery. If you are getting ready to undergo an orthopedic surgery or have just made it through the first few days of post-op from an orthopedic surgery, it's time to start thinking about exercise.

doctor assessing patients knee

Start moving

After a surgery, movement is critical to recovery. Shortly after your post-op recovery period, your surgeon will order physical therapy to help you heal. Safe movement and exercise is essential to proper and faster healing from a surgery. 

Physical therapy exercises can help:

  • the overall healing process
  • balance
  • range of motion
  • breaking up scar tissue

While it can feel overwhelming to start exercising your recently operated area, it's important to remember that these exercises are vital to your recovery and your overall health - both mental and physical. The inability to move can make a serious impact on your mental health which can lead to depression and lack of motivation to work through the recovery process. Safe exercises, with the help of physical therapy, can help you work through stress and ultimately make you feel better while you recover. 

Stretching and strengthening

As you start your post-op physical therapy, one of the first things your therapist will do is have you stretch the operated area. Stretches and strengthening exercises will help you to regain your balance and control. Stretching not only benefits your range of motion, but it also allows your physical therapist to take a deeper look where your surgery was performed so that incisions and wounds can be checked and any issues can be addressed (in partnership with your surgeon) that are bothering you as you heal. 

Strengthening exercises will help speed your recovery as you will begin to rebuild the the strength in the muscles around the operated area to work better as a system and get you moving at your best. Your physical therapy team will show you the best and safest ways to stretch and exercise, and will also help you work through recovery pain with ice, massage, heat, etc.

Pain management and scar tissue prevention

Physical therapy, and exercise in general, can help you work through pain and prevent scar tissue as you recover. If you are experiencing pain after surgery, your physical therapist may be able to help with treatment options including massage therapy and ultrasound. These techniques, along with continued stretching, can help alleviate your pain and help you continue to recover. Additionally, physical therapy can help to reduce the risk of scar tissue build up and break up any scar tissue that is already there. Avoiding scar tissue will allow your body to move and stretch the way that it should. By seeing your physical therapist as soon as permitted by your surgeon, you can often avoid the build up of scar tissue leading to less pain as you recover. Be sure to talk to your surgeon and your therapy team about any pain or issues you are experiencing so they can assist you better as you heal. 

Physical therapy at Logansport Memorial Hospital

Physical therapy, and continued exercise and strength training, is an essential part of your recovery after surgery. Not only will it help you heal faster and improve your mobility, it can help you to manage your pain and improve your mental health during your recovery. 

The physical therapists at Logansport Memorial Hospital help patients develop, maintain, and restore maximum movement and function. Our team sees conditions, injuries, and diseases including (but not limited to):

  • Post-surgical recovery
  • Athletic and work-related injuries
  • Neurological conditions
  • Arthritis and osteoporosis
  • Lower back, neck, and shoulder pain
  • Vertigo and dizziness

Click here to learn more about Logansport Memorial's therapy services. You might also like:

TOPICS: Orthopedics, Therapy