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Physical Therapy Benefits You Pre-Surgery

Preparing for surgery can be daunting in itself. Your body is about to go through a planned trauma, not to mention the mental preparation you have to plan for with the known discomfort to follow, even though you are already in pain and that’s why you’re going through with the surgery. Does this ring a bell? The calming factor in this though is physical therapy can help. Pre-Operation Physical therapy can help before your surgery even happens, for a couple of reasons. 


The first being preparation. You may go into a surgery worried about how you are going to feel afterward but you won’t have to worry about the exercises and equipment used as you are recovering. Pre-Op physical therapy gets you used to the exercises you will be doing post surgery. This is helpful to manage your recovery time best; if you’re doing the exercises wrong, it won’t actually be helping you progress toward better range of motion or decrease in pain because it’s not working the targeted muscles. If you have any assistive devices you will be using post surgery, it can be taught to you ahead of time to reduce the risk of injury from slipping up with your walker, cane, etc. 


Secondly, the strength process begins. The muscles around the surgery site are quite possibly already weaker than what is considered to be normal and beginning the strengthening exercises prior to surgery begins that process. Now, as stated earlier, a surgery is a planned trauma to your body, a corrective trauma, but none the less your body doesn’t distinguish between a slip and fall landing on your knee and a total knee replacement. That being said, the muscles around that site are going to be weaker and/or uncomfortable because of the trauma and will need to build strength, ROM, and working toward functionality. By doing pre-op physical therapy, your body begins that process and makes it easier to transition post surgery.


Lastly, you walk into the surgery more educated. Education is a really important part of the surgery process. Knowing what happens in the surgery, knowing what areas may feel the discomfort, looking out for certain compensations to avoid, or a range of time that we see as recovery time, can truly help ease a lot of anxiety and worry. Going into the surgery with less anxiety will help your overall recovery with a better outlook on the post surgery process, and to think, if you have a better outlook going in, the result can only go up from there!


If you know you have a surgery coming up and would like to schedule a few pre-op appointments, please give us a call today at (703)450-4300. 

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