The Work of a Physical Therapist
Our physical therapist has been trained to identify any deficiencies you may be experiencing in your body. This can include weakness in a specific area, relieving stress and reducing pain. Part of becoming a physical therapist is learning about various surgical procedures and how they affect the body. When you first meet with our physical therapist, you will be evaluated to see what you are capable of. From there, a list of goals will be made. It is important that you are working with an educated and experienced therapist after your surgery. This will prevent further damage from being done to your body, as our physical therapist will know what your limitations are.
Working Your Muscles and Joints
After you have had surgery, the most you may be able to do is stretch certain muscles to improve your range of motion. During recovery, you may experience some stiff joints or tight muscles. This is perfectly normal, but it can greatly affect your ability to get around. You can preserve these functions by completing certain stretches given to you by your therapist. We may request that you do these stretches multiple times each day. Don’t overwork yourself. Stick to the plan that has been outlined for you.
You may not find yourself running on the treadmill at the gym immediately, but a set of appropriate exercises will help keep your muscles in good shape. You want to slowly increase the amount of endurance and strength that you have. This should continue until you reach your original range of motion. Don’t ever add new exercises to your routine without approval and direction of your physical therapist or doctor. The injury and surgery that you had may come with their own set of limitations.Strengthening Your Core Our physical therapists will frequently have you work your core muscles. This is basically the foundation of your body. Without a strong core, your recovery time will be slower and less effective. A weak core could also put you at risk of future injuries, or you could be overusing specific muscles in your body as a way to over compensate. Once you are more mobile and healed, you may be able to attend a yoga or pilates class to work on your core strength.
There is a recovery plan that is part of your physical therapy routine. This may include applying heat or ice, massaging certain areas of the body, etc. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of physical therapy after surgery, contact us here at the Denver Integrated Spine Center.