Physiotherapy is key to a full recovery

Why pre and post-surgery physiotherapy is the key to a full recovery

There’s no better way of putting it, major injuries suck. Especially those that require surgery. I’ve been there myself, as a sports physio on the Northern Beaches I’ve seen firsthand many injuries on the beach and on the sporting fields. I’ve had 7 operations including a full shoulder reconstruction and a hernia repair. I know that first you have the pain when you injure yourself. Then there’s the pain and lack of mobility leading up to surgery. Post-surgery it can feel like an eternity before your body is back to its optimal condition. You might even think your body is just a bit stiff from surgery and that it’s ready to get back to business as usual. You’d be wrong.

It’s easy to want to get straight back into the activities you were doing prior to your injury and for a lot of people this is where they can come unstuck (sometimes literally). Even though your brain might be telling you to go for it, your body is the one wearing the brunt of that decision. Old habits die hard and if your injury was caused by an improper technique or movement, the chances of you re-injuring the affected or surrounding area aren’t just high, but nearly guaranteed. This is where proper rehabilitation comes into its own.

They tried to make me go to prehab, I said yes, yes, yes.

Pre-surgical rehabilitation or prehab for short is the concept that’s going to get your body into the best shape it can be in before your surgery. Think of it as a 6 week bikini body challenge for your ACL. A well designed pre surgery strengthening regime can shave weeks of time and pain off your post-surgical recovery. In fact, surgeons agree that the physical shape your affected area is in is one of the strongest predictors of the chances of a fully successful recovery! It is likely that you have pain and weakness operating in tandem leading up to surgery, but you’re going to need every ounce of strength you’ve got to recover fully. In prehab your local physio will help you build strength and stability where you need it most to ensure you get the most out of your rehabilitation.

Surgeons understand the benefits of proper rehabilitation

There’s a reason surgeons recommend physiotherapy as the most essential component of the rehabilitation of your new or improved body part. While surgery corrects the structural issues caused by your injury, your body must relearn particular functions and movements to prevent another injury from occurring. Unless optimal motor control, joint motion, muscular strength and function is restored you might as well book yourself back in to go under the knife again already. For example walking, running or jumping around after knee surgery NEEDS TO BE RELEARNED! How did you end up here in the first place? Dodgy form. This is exactly the reason one some people experience the same surgery over and over again!

How pre and post surgical rehabilitation helps you recover

  • Improves range of motion and movement function of the injured area
  • Sports physiotherapy focuses on strengthening the muscles surrounding the injury
  • Reduces pain associated with lack of movement and the injury itself
  • Helps you to relearn movements: this could be through teaching you to walk, run or jump with a different movement pattern to avoid the same injury
  • Empowers you with the knowledge of how to keep your body in better shape
  • Shortens the recovery time associated with your injury and surgery

Pre and post-surgery rehab isn’t sexy. It can be a long process that requires intensive hands on physiotherapy from an expert in rehabilitation techniques, functional training and is up to date with the latest in complementary forms of exercise equipment. Make sure you find yourself a local musculoskeletal physiotherapist with access to state of the art gym and functional training capabilities to give yourself the best chance of a full recovery.


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