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Can physiotherapy help with pain management and rehabilitation after surgery?

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Yes, physiotherapy can be very beneficial for pain management and rehabilitation after surgery. It plays a crucial role in helping patients recover their physical function, reduce pain, and regain mobility after surgical procedures. Here are some ways in which physiotherapy can be helpful in post-surgery recovery:

  1. Pain Management: Physiotherapists use various techniques such as manual therapy, soft tissue mobilisation, and exercise therapy to manage post-operative pain. They can also teach patients pain-relief exercises and techniques.

  2. Swelling Reduction: After surgery, it's common for patients to experience swelling in the affected area. Physiotherapists can assist with the right education to help reduce the effect of swelling post operatively.

  3. Range of Motion: Surgery can lead to stiffness and a reduced range of motion in the affected joint or body part. Physiotherapists develop personalised exercise programs that gradually improve flexibility and joint mobility.

  4. Strengthening: To regain strength in the muscles that might have atrophied due to surgery or immobilisation, physiotherapists create tailored strengthening programs. These programs help rebuild muscle strength and stability.

  5. Functional Training: Physiotherapy includes functional exercises that mimic daily activities and movements. This helps patients regain their ability to perform routine tasks and return to their normal lifestyle.

  6. Scar Management: For surgeries that result in visible scars, physiotherapists can provide scar management techniques and education to minimise scar tissue buildup, improve scar appearance, and maintain skin elasticity.

  7. Balance and Coordination: Surgery can affect balance and coordination. Physiotherapists work on improving these skills to prevent falls and accidents during the recovery process.

  8. Education and Guidance: Physiotherapists educate patients on proper body mechanics, ergonomics, and postural awareness to prevent further complications and improve overall quality of life.

  9. Respiratory Care: For surgeries that impact the respiratory system, such as chest or abdominal surgery, physiotherapists may provide breathing exercises to prevent respiratory complications and improve lung function.

  10. Customised Treatment Plans: Physiotherapists develop individualised physiotherapy treatment plans based on the type of surgery, the patient's specific needs, and their overall health. This ensures that the rehabilitation process is tailored to the patient.

It's important to start physiotherapy as soon as it's medically safe after surgery, as early intervention can lead to better outcomes. Patients should work closely with their surgical team and physiotherapist to create a comprehensive and effective post-surgery rehabilitation plan.

Body Fit Physiotherapy

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