Physical Therapy for Before and After Your Surgery

It’s a perceptive idea to work with a physical therapist before and after surgery. In physical therapy, it is called “prehab”, where you have to work on specific planned treatment before your operation. The session will help you to be prepared emotionally and physically for the surgery. As per American Physical Therapy Association, physical therapy can help with overall wellness and prevention. Physical therapy can help to assure a speedy and impeccable recovery. 

Pre-surgical and Post-surgical Rehabilitation

When you are undergoing any surgery, your body loses a lot of strength. Physical therapy treatments will help you retrieve your body functions. 

Post-surgical rehabilitation tends to focus on targeted exercises. It stretches aimed at helping relieve your pain, improve your strength, and redeem your optimum function in the affected area of your body. It may also include additional procedures or modalities as needed, such as manual therapy, ice and heat therapies, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and more. Essentially, it helps you make a thorough improvement from your surgery.

Pre-surgical rehabilitation is a bit different. It focuses on stretches and exercises before surgery to prepare your body for the procedure ahead. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, participating in exercise therapies before surgery can exceptionally improve your post-operative outcomes and reduce your recovery time.

It is no secret that surgery takes a toll on the body, so preparing yourself beforehand with strengthening stretches and exercises can significantly benefit your results. It can also help you prepare cognitively by giving you a better calmness of mind going into surgery, knowing you did everything to make the process as easy on you as possible.

Physical Therapy Treatments After Surgery

You can start working with a physical therapist soon after your surgery. Depending on the type of surgery you have undergone, your therapist can teach you the proper ways of getting in and out of bed, using mobility assistance devices, getting dressed, and using the restroom.

From there, physical therapy will involve helping you with recovery and getting back to your everyday life. A physical therapy exercise plan will be tailored toward gradually rebuilding your strength without the risk of tearing any sutures or reinjuring yourself. Always remember that a physical therapist has many tools and techniques at their control. They are explicitly qualified in the best methods to help you recover from an injury or surgery.

You are much more likely to go through water-based training sessions in a pool to reduce strain on muscles healing from surgery. You may also learn exercises with the assistance of your therapist or a helper at home that can aid you in moving your limbs to contract muscles without straining or reinjuring anything.

Physical Therapy Treatments Before Surgery

Surgery is frightening for many people. They need to have the operation to enhance their health in some fashion, but the idea of being placed under anesthetic and operated on is still reasonably scary. Working with a physical therapist beforehand can help reduce these fears. In addition, you will have a good plan in place for your rehabilitation after the surgery.

Working with a physical therapist before surgery can help you prepare for adjustments you will have to make in the immediate aftermath. For example, your therapist can get you ready for riding in a car, walking around your home, your ultimate return to work, and a post-operative exercise plan that won’t harm your recovery. Your therapist can also suggest assistive devices you may need after surgery, such as a cane or walker. Part of the prehab work with a physical therapist may require recommendations for setting up a “recovery zone” in your home.

Kitchen items that you might need to reach should be placed on lower shelves so that it is easy to reach. Physical therapy will be vital for your recovery, but so will therapeutic rest. Have an area of your home prepared where you can comfortably sit, rest, and relax. It will help in a faster recovery.

Physical training should be part of your physical therapy plan before surgery. Like, strength training, stretching for flexibility, and aerobic exercise to improve oxygen flow will help you recover more quickly after your operation.


Becoming relatively fit before surgery can even limit the need for inpatient rehabilitation with a physical therapist. The body has been through definitive trauma during the surgery and does not expect to spring back into action within a few days. Recovery is a gradual process and one cannot completely control the body’s processing power. Physical therapy is imperative after surgery because not only can it help decrease the growth of injured tissue around the wound, it can also help a person recover faster and return to full movement. It may be a little extra challenging to see why you need physical therapy before surgery, but joining in before going under the knife may be even more helpful in the long run.

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