Man healing from surgery in need of rehab physical therapy
Man healing from surgery in need of rehab physical therapy

Preparing for, and Healing from Surgery

Pre and post-operation physical therapy can play a crucial role in the recovery process, providing benefits for patients of all ages. Physical therapy aims to improve your health and fitness, which can be even more important before or after surgery. A healthy body heals faster. Physical therapy before or after surgery (or both) can give your body the extra strength and assistance it needs to recover faster.

Do I Need Physical Therapy for My Surgery?

If you have surgery coming up, you might wonder whether you’ll need physical therapy. Your doctors will discuss this with you; don’t hesitate to ask if you’re unsure. Your doctor may not recommend PT as necessary for minor procedures, but it can still be beneficial. One of our expert physical therapists at Megan Mullin PT can evaluate your condition to help you determine if pre-surgery or post-surgery PT is appropriate.

In general, procedures that significantly affect your mobility or joints may require physical therapy, including joint replacement procedures, back surgery, and procedures to repair muscles or ligaments. Significant operations like heart surgery may also need PT to help patients gradually and safely resume exercise.

Benefits of Pre-Op Physical Therapy

Preoperative physical therapy (PT) has several benefits that can help improve surgical outcomes and reduce postoperative complications. Here are some of the potential benefits:

  • Improved range of motion: Physical therapy can help improve the range of motion in the affected joint or limb. This can make it easier for the patient to move after surgery, which can speed up the recovery process.
  • Increased strength: PT can also help increase strength in the affected area. This can make it easier for the patient to perform postoperative exercises and activities, which can help improve overall function and reduce the risk of complications.
  • Pain management: Therapy can involve various modalities such as heat or ice therapy, massage, or exercises to alleviate pain.
  • Better overall health: Preoperative physical therapy can help improve the patient’s overall health before surgery, which can help reduce the risk of postoperative complications.
  • Shorter hospital stay: PT can help speed up recovery, which may lead to a shorter hospital stay.
  • Better postoperative outcomes: Patients who undergo physical therapy may have better postoperative outcomes, including less pain, faster recovery, and improved long-term function.

It is important to note that benefits may vary depending on the patient’s condition and the surgery they are undergoing. It is always best to discuss the potential benefits with your healthcare provider beforehand.

Post-Operative Physical Therapy (Rehab)

After surgery, especially if a joint or muscle has been significantly impacted, your body may need help repairing the area. Discomfort can make it hard to move around after a procedure, but lack of movement may lead to muscle atrophy and weakness that worsens the situation. Post-op PT or rehabilitation aims to help you safely resume activity after surgery, keeping your muscles strong and helping your body heal.

Benefits of Post-Op Physical Therapy

Postoperative physical therapy (PT) is an important part of the recovery process after surgery. It helps patients regain strength, mobility, and function following a surgical procedure. Benefits include:

  • Faster recovery: Physical therapy can help speed up the recovery process by promoting healing, reducing pain, and increasing mobility.
  • Reduced risk of complications: PT can help reduce the risk of complications, such as infections, blood clots, and other complications that can occur after surgery.
  • Increased strength and mobility: With therapy, patients can regain strength and mobility in the affected area. Improving overall function can help patients return to their daily activities more quickly.
  • Pain management: Postoperative physical therapy can help manage pain after surgery. This can involve various modalities such as heat or ice therapy, massage, or exercises to alleviate pain.
  • Improved balance and coordination: This benefit can be especially important for patients who have undergone surgeries that affect the musculoskeletal system or the central nervous system.
  • Personalized care: Our therapists tailor to each patient’s needs and goals. Every patient receives personalized care and attention to help them achieve the best possible outcomes.

Overall, postoperative physical therapy can help patients recover from surgery more quickly and with fewer complications. It can also help patients regain their independence and quality of life following a surgical procedure.

Take the Next Step

Interested in prehab or rehab physical therapy? At Megan Mullin Physical Therapy, our mission is to help you optimize your health and fitness for strong, pain-free living. Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment with a physical therapist in Woodstock, NY, or San Luis Obispo, CA. We also offer virtual appointments for some PT services.


Client Testimonials

"Dr. Megan Mullin is a consummate professional and a gifted physical therapist. The wide array of healing modalities that she uses is inspiring and impactful. I cannot recommend Megan highly enough."

Gail Straub , Empowerment Institute

“Megan is a body wizard. She is also a student of the most cutting edge body healing modalities. You could not be in better hands working with Megan."

David Gershon , Entrepreneur

Dr. Mullin is extremely caring and kind. She listens fully and is attentive to your needs. Megan is truly gifted, intuitive & has helped me so much. She is delightful to work with and I actually look forward to my physical therapy appointments!

Joan C. , Patient
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Post Operation Physical Therapy