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3 Reasons Why Physical Therapy Is Needed After Surgery

Whether you’re scheduled for major surgery or a minor surgical procedure, surgery of any kind is a big deal. Even after undergoing a seemingly simple procedure, you may feel extremely weak or experience muscle pain and stiffness.

Physicians and surgeons often recommend physical therapy as part of a patient’s post-op recovery period. Here’s why:

healthy adult after surgery

Improves Mobility, Flexibility, and Balance

Post-surgery, you may experience limited mobility in the affected region. As part of your body’s natural healing response, there may be swelling or muscle tightness. The tissues in the region that has been operated on may also weaken because of temporary inactivity, and they may become more susceptible to injury.

With physical therapy, you can restore your muscles’ flexibility and strengthen the inactive or weak tissues. Gentle exercises introduced in the process help in reducing the stiffness or pain you may be experiencing post-surgery. Moreover, restoring muscle strength and flexibility also helps in improving balance, which can help you regain your mobility and range of motion.

Reduces Scar Tissue Formation

After you’ve had surgery, the affected area may create scar tissue. This is also a part of the body’s natural healing process—the soft tissue contracts to form scar tissue. Natural as it may be, excess scarring can adversely impact your movement and may also reduce muscle function for an extended period.

With physical therapy, this can be prevented. While you may still experience some scarring, physical therapy helps in reducing the extent of scar tissue formation. The various tissue mobilization techniques used in physical therapy help in softening the scar tissue, allowing patients to recover more easily.

woman getting physical therapy


Prevents the Onset of Secondary Issues

Finally, with physical therapy you can prevent the onset of several other complications that you’re at a risk for after undergoing surgery. It’s not uncommon for patients to develop blood clots, infections, or other complications after a surgical procedure. These may or may not be severe in nature, but they affect the recovery process, nevertheless.

Getting physical therapy after surgery can reduce the chances of these secondary complications. Through specific exercises and techniques introduced during physical therapy, you’ll be at a much lower risk of experiencing additional complications post-op.

Houston Physicians’ Hospital has a team of highly specialized orthopedists in Clear Lake who can customize a post-surgical care plan that may include physical therapy. If you need an orthopedic procedure, you can find a doctor who’s right for you at Houston Physicians’ Hospital. Plus, Houston Physicians’ Hospital has 15 physical therapy locations within the Houston and Clear Lake area. Find one that’s close to home.

Houston Physicians’ Hospital also provides general surgery, back and neck pain treatments, spine solutions, and arthritis treatments.